Outdoor Classroom Day is coming to Ireland


I make no mystery of my passion for outdoor learning.

From writing about the Irish Forest School Association to sending Squirrel then Pebbles to the Nature Kindergarten, from having magical birthday parties in the woods for the acorns to attending forest school days myself, outdoor learning is also behind many a family adventure.

Now I found out that Leave No Trace are bringing the next Outdoor Classroom Day to Ireland. 

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign that celebrates and inspires outdoor learning and play. On 1st November, thousands of schools around the world will take lessons outdoors and prioritise playtime – over 2.5 million children have already got involved this year.

Outdoor Classroom Day and Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace Ireland is dedicated to getting more people enjoying the outdoors responsibly, so supporting Outdoor Classroom Day in Ireland makes perfect sense.

Maura Lyons, CEO of Leave No Trace Ireland, explains: “We know that outdoor learning and play is crucial to a child’s development, health and wellbeing. It increases social skills, imagination, engagement with learning, concentration and behaviour, whilst giving children the opportunity to connect with nature and get away from the computer screen.”

For children learn better outside.

Play is not frivolous. Play is not a luxury.
It is not something to fit in after completing all the important stuff.
Play is the important stuff.
Play is a drive, a need, a brain-building must-do.

Jeff A. Johnson & Denita Dinger

As the next Outdoor Classroom Day falls during mid-term for Irish schools, Leave No Trace Ireland invite people, whether they be a youth group, school or individual, to get involved any day from the 1st to the 16th of November. 

Maths Attacks, Invertebrates Investigates and Habitat Hunt are some of the free lesson plans available on the Leave No Trace Ireland website. Of course, these resources incorporate the 7 principles of Leave No Trace.

Related / Similaire  Leave No Trace - one idea, 7 principles / Sans Trace : une idée, 7 principes


Signing up is free and the website also has great online resources to help plan your Outdoor Classroom Day, including a letter to schools to help parents and carers encourage teachers to get involved.

If we want our children to grow up to care about the world around, to solve the big problems facing our world — global warming, pollution — they first need to care. And to care, they need to get outside.

Elizabeth Broadbent on ScaryMommy.com

For nature-smart children have the power to save the world. 


Some stats about learning outdoors

The practice of outdoor learning is not a new one and there is evidence from around the world that shows the powerful impact it has on students and teachers:

  • Two in three children globally play outside for less than an hour and a half a day –
    that’s less than the two hour guideline for maximum security prisoners in the US. *
  • 85 percent of parents believe that their children are more creative when
    they play without technology. **
  • 92 percent of schools agreed that children engaged more with their
    learning outdoors. ***
  • Learning outside the classroom raises educational standards and it offers for
    many their first real contact with the natural environment. ****


The global Outdoor Classroom Day is led by Project Dirt, in partnership with Unilever as part of their Dirt is Good movement. 

* Source: Edelman Berland for Unilever, 2016.
** Source: Edelman Berland for Unilever, 2016.
*** Source: Learning in the Natural Environment: Review of social and economic benefits and barriers (NECR092), Natural England
**** Source: English Outdoor Council’s Lobbying toolkit

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. Should you choose to make a purchase after clicking on one of them, I may receive a small commission and your purchase will help support this site.

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5 Responses to “Outdoor Classroom Day is coming to Ireland

  • I am a total convert to outdoor classroom learning. Kids always learn when they are here with us and don’t even realise it. How wonderful to see the idea being taken up and publicized. #CountryKids

  • Outdoor learning is so important. It’s amazing how much children learn when they are outside and engaging with nature and I agree that they need to get outside in order for them to care about the world around them. Those statistics about how two-thirds of children have less outdoor time than prisoners make me feel so sad. Getting outside makes such a difference – I know as a family that we are all much happier for having outdoor time. Thank you for sharing with #CountryKids

  • This is such a great campaign, I didn’t realise there was more than one day a year, we worked on the campaign earlier in the year ahead of the date in May here. #Countrykids

  • I’m a bit shocked that I haven’t heard of this so thank you very much for sharing. I’ll be on it for the May date with all the schools we’re involved with locally. Such a great initiative and close to my own heart too. Good to see Ireland and Four Acorns at the forefront. Thanks again for making us aware at #CountryKids

  • I’m all for learning outdoors and your post is making me think I ought to research learning opportunities (Forest Schools) even more #CountryKids

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