|Samuel making a pine cone bird feeder|
Outdoor play at school is widely seen as a purely recreational activity—a chance for kids to take a break from their studies. This time is typically short (20 minutes, on average), and is often dependent on favorable weather conditions. But there is a case to be made for children to spend more time outside during the school day as they develop a multitude of valuable skills from being in nature.
Give children access to fallen tree branches and watch as they construct a lean-to shelter with sheer determination. They exercise teamwork and problem-solving as they experiment with various arrangements to ensure the structure is stable. When setbacks occur, children rise to the challenge, excited to see their project to completion instead of being overcome by frustration.