While taking my kids to their school orientation this year, I found myself inspired by the beautiful changes that were made to the outdoor school campus. In their efforts to move learning outside of the classrooms, they created areas that are both quiet and inviting, as well as being conducive to classroom collaboration.
My kids love the idea of being outside so I thought it might be to my and their advantage to create an outdoor school campus in my own backyard. Here are a few things to keep in mind…
Outdoor School Essentials
Comfort is Key
Science projects and group study halls are stifling. Let the kids free their minds by bringing that work time outside. A comfortable, modular seating area with ample table space will be ideal. I love the curved sectionals that keep everyone in the circle. The idea being a comfortable place for group collaboration, in the fresh air, will open the lines for brainstorming and project execution. Not to mention that it is perfect for all the craft projects that are best created outside. No more glitter on the floors!
All About the Ambiance
A tranquil atmosphere starts with the sight and sounds of running water so I’m looking to place a free standing fountain in the center of our landscaped island. The fountain will serve as a strong focal point that brings a completely new feel to our space. New outdoor benches can go on each side for a relaxing place to do their reading.
Don’t forget the make shift cafeteria for snacks! You can’t expect kids to do their schoolwork without study breaks. They have them at school so they should have them during study time. Be unconventional and turn a baker’s rack or tea cart to stock up with drinks and snacks to keep them satisfied and focused.
To emulate the addition of lockers, I’m using some of the latest outdoor storage options. Of course, they won’t be storing their textbooks in them but it’s a great idea to house their individual sports gear for their after school activities. Instead of cluttering up the laundry room, now they will each have a weather resistant, teak storage box for all the bats, balls, helmets, cleats, you name it. Don’t ask me where everything is! Check the box!!
Since there are so many custom decorating options, our outdoor school will no doubt be a beautiful and functional addition to our outdoor space. Now get this project started immediately! Here’s hoping that my back to school inspired renovations will, in turn, inspire more kids to open the backdoor and open their minds to new ideas.
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