Learning Environments for Children in Outdoor Spaces


4th World Conference on Learning, Teaching and Educational Leadership (WCLTA), Barcelona, Spain, 27 - 29 October 2013, vol.141, pp.846-853 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 141
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.05.147
  • City: Barcelona
  • Country: Spain
  • Page Numbers: pp.846-853


Learning continues permanently from the start to the end of life. During this period, there are many factors that help learning. Considering the learning process in the childhood, play is the best communication and the most natural learning environment for children. Play recognizes and develops child's talents and creative potential; increases languistic, mental, social, emotional, and motor skills; provides learning opportunities through trial knowledge and experience that will be required throughout their lifetime. In this way, learning can be realized permanently. Outdoor spaces are the best play environments for children. These areas offer opportunities that are not found in indoor spaces and physical environment contributes to children's learning with owned affordances. Thus, outdoor spaces designed for children are very important. These outdoor spaces will be more meaningful and useful when they contribute to children's learning. This paper primarily focuses on the concept of child-environment relationships, learning environments, and discusses the contributions of the physical environment to children's learning. It describes with examples what a learning environment is, how to provide children with physical environments for learning, and which environmental characteristics contribute to learning. In addition, the paper explains the importance of designing learning environments and the design of these environments. In this way, the paper will give clues to the designers who design outdoor spaces for children that are of higher quality and that will contribute to the learning process of children. Consequently, it will show the importance of outdoor environments for children in education and point out the issues of learning with play and learning environments. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.