Outside Project

Teachers and administrators

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Woman on a rainy day walk on a deserted road surrounded by trees
Green tent in winter mountains
a girl on a canoe
Meadows in bloom during the summer in the Dolomite
Daily benefits

Students need more time outside.

Studies have shown that students who spend time learning outdoors experience increases in academic performance, improvements in attitudes about learning and school, and improved behavior. 

Further, time spent outside has been shown to improve students’ focus and cognitive abilities, both directly and through improvements in their sleep patterns and decreases in their stress levels. 

Adventurous Woman Paddling on a Paddle Board in a peaceful lake.

The modern educational landscape is increasingly digital. Students are spending more time than ever in front of screens, both for learning and leisure activities. Not all of this time is bad; however, it’s never been more important to help students find the right balance. 

Outdoor activities provide students with a much-needed break from technology and contribute to a host of benefits including increased mental and physical well-being. 

This may seem like something parents should be taking charge of, but considering the profound effects increased time outside can have on students’ success in the classroom, it’s worth examining the role teachers and schools can play. 

Through a weekly in-depth lesson outdoors or a short daily homework assignment, a teacher’s interest and involvement in getting their students outside the classroom and into the natural environment can make the difference between a student whose life has been absorbed by technology and a student who has found a healthy balance. 

The outdoors is a dynamic classroom that offers countless learning opportunities. Whether it’s a lesson in communication through the observation of animals or a deep dive into geography through the use of maps, compasses, and challenging terrain, real-world experiences enrich students’ understanding and retention of information. 

On top of that, outdoor time encourages interaction and teamwork. Group activities require communication and cooperation. These help students develop vital social skills such as leadership, empathy, and conflict resolution. 

Regularly scheduled outdoor activities as a part of an educational program help students form the habit of going outside. If you spent your childhood playing outside from the minute the bell rang until your parents called you home for dinner, it may be difficult to imagine that today’s children aren’t living that way. But if you’ve surveyed your students about what they do after school, you may already know that the culture has changed. 

By making outdoor activities part of the educational program, schools and teachers can play an active role in developing a love for the real world in their students. Outdoor time should be prioritized—not just as a break from the digital world, but as a critical component of a holistic education.

We’re Excited To Have You Join Us


Explore our FAQs

Dive into our Frequently Asked Questions for quick insights on how Outside Project works for schools.

If you haven’t broached the topic of screens with your students’ parents yet, you may be surprised at the eagerness with which they’ll hear your ideas about how to minimize screen time and get their kids to spend more time outside.

We’ve found that it isn’t enough just to say, “Spend more time outside.” It’s simply too general of a statement that rarely, if ever, leads to a noticeable change.

We found that when you give people (ourselves included) something specific to do outside, they’ll end up significantly increasing the amount of time they spend outside, and they’ll enjoy it more.

We want to help people of all ages make spending time outside become a daily habit. We found that it’s much easier for them to do that when they’re not having to spend time figuring out what to do, failing to figure something out, deciding they’re bored and walking right back inside.

Yes! The first 31 days of prompts are available free of charge here: 31 Days of Outdoor Activities.

Many of our prompts require no additional materials. The ones that do utilize either found objects or simple things like pencils, paper, etc.

Yes! We’re in the process of creating a detailed lesson plan for each prompt. These will continue to be made available to our member schools as they get finalized.