Outdoor Education | Kent State University

Outdoor Education

We believe that it is every child's right to spend time outdoors each day.

Long uninterrupted time in the outdoors provides the chance for children to develop strong relationships with each other, teachers, and the world outside of the classroom. After years of planning, we officially opened our Outdoor Learning Laboratory (OLL) on September 19, 2013. The OLL comprises an amphitheater, bike paths, wildflower patches, a garden, a mud kitchen, a bottle house, climbing structures, an open field, sand, and water features. These dynamic spaces afford opportunities for both guided and unstructured outdoor experience, such as sociodramatic and big body play, loose parts construction, gardening, barefoot walking, and more.

Our engagement with the outdoors extends beyond our school grounds to the wider campus and city of Kent. Children and teachers work together in navigating streets, paths, parks, ponds, and woods, utilizing public transportation, meeting campus employees, and exploring nearby buildings and facilities. Through our outdoor curriculum, we aim to strengthen dispositions such as responsibility, empathy, and risk-taking, while promoting stewardship of shared spaces. Under the guidance of our outdoor educator, Terri Cardy, children, family members, and faculty have also participated in conservation and sustainability projects, such as the Green Apple Day of Service.