George Lucas Educational Foundation
George Lucas Educational Foundation

The Benefits of Taking Kindergarten Outdoors

By exploring outside their classroom—and even their schoolyard—two teachers found their students’ learning potential became boundless.

May 4, 2023

What happens when kindergartners spend almost their entire school day outside, even through a harsh Canadian winter? When two teachers from Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School (PETES), in Gatineau, Quebec, dubbed a tiny park near their urban schoolyard “the magical forest” and started taking their small charges there daily, the learning adventures began. They say this approach has resulted in fewer distractions, better inclusion for all students, and more effective learning. 

To learn more about the research behind the practices seen in the video, check out the links below. 

For schools without easy or safe access to wilderness environments, teachers can find more resources to support outdoor learning in the articles “7 Ways to Connect Young Students to Nature” and “Promoting Outdoor Learning in Urban Settings” or watch the video “7 Tips for Moving Learning Outside.” There are also nonprofit organizations such as OutTeach and the Children and Nature Network that offer resources to help educators get students outside. 

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School

Public, Urban
Grades K-6
Gatineau, QC

Edutopia developed the Making Learning More Playful series with support from The LEGO Foundation.

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  • K-2 Primary
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