Our Design Approach to Outdoor Learning Environments
In today's modern educational environment, not all learning takes place in the classroom. Much of the social development that children go through occurs on the playground. Here at Architectural Innovations, we are proud to work with educational institutions to develop indoor and outdoor spaces that are conducive to learning. Here's a look at a recent project that we completed for a new elementary school and how we approached the design process.
Our Design Approach
For this project, we worked closely with the school district to ensure that our designs met their expectations regarding the learning objectives they have for their students. The district wanted their outdoor learning environment to incorporate all of the primary subjects that students study in school, including science, math, reading, the arts and more. We took all of these things into account in developing our design for the exterior of the school. As for the interior of the school, we worked with the district to ensure that the indoor and outdoor environments would work together to create a complete educational environment.
Benefits of Outdoor Learning Environments
According to the North American Association of Environmental Education, outdoor learning spaces provide a host of benefits for children. Just the mere act of being outdoors can stimulate brain development and encourage children to explore. They can also develop their social skills through interacting with their peers on the playground. Enjoying green spaces has also been shown to reduce stress and improve overall mental health. Finally, playing outdoors helps children to build their motor skills, strengthen their muscles and improve coordination, balance and agility.
Our client wanted their outdoor play areas to incorporate specific learning components as well. The play structures we designed for them teach children about biology, directions, time, the seasons, cause and effect, and comparisons. We designed the play areas to encourage constructive and imaginative play to help children grasp important concepts in a real-world environment, as opposed to the more structured environment of the classroom. Our president/owner, Jan Brimmeier, explained, "We worked with our educational client to develop themes that were interconnected with the school district's curriculum in developing the Outdoor and Indoor Learning Gallery."
Improve the Learning Environment at Your School
We would be happy to work with you to develop the indoor and outdoor learning environments at your school. We will evaluate your current space and the educational goals of your school to come up with a plan that maximizes your ability to provide children with a valuable education. Our primary goal with school projects is to give children the educational tools they need to be successful. Get in touch with us today at Architectural Innovations to learn more about our process and how we can improve your school's learning environment.