Outbound Collective logo

Get Outside: How Nature Helps You

Recently there has been a great deal of discussion about a creativity crisis happening in American schools. The outdoors can help that.

By: Shannon Bushinsky + Save to a List

The big thing that I have been hearing recently is that American schools are literally "killing" kids' creativity.  Schools are designed for the industrial revolution with a timed schedule, teach to the standardized tests, and do not have "down time" offered to the students.  Many tests show that there is a continual decrease in creativity from kindergarten and through all of school.  So are we really in a creativity crisis?

Look at the cover photo.  Think about how you could use the branches to create another figure or thing.  Most adults might think of a few ideas.  But usually the younger kids think of at least 20+ different ideas.  This is because they don't care what others think about them and will say anything that comes into their minds.  Adults have been "polished" by social norms and think to deep into the subject with limitations on how it can work.

According to several independent studies, kids in grades K-6 are the hardest hit when it comes to decreased creativity.  Before this, they constantly ask questions about everything, but they eventually stop questioning.  It's not because they lose interest; they are just too overloaded with the day and school to ask.  I agree that the style of school is not the perfect schedule for creativity to flourish, but you can do something about it.

Outdoors.  Yes, it's that simple.  Just go.  Research shows that those who spend time outside, whether it be the park, the woods, or the backyard, tend to be more creative.  Being outside and relaxing allows the mind to clear itself of all stress and process what was taught in school.  This way, the student is able to comprehend what he or she learns and have the space to think freely.  By being outside, the mind relaxes and learns to be creative with its surroundings.  It seems that possibilities are unlimited.

Get outside - the benefits are innumerable.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


Get outdoors, but make it gay

Erica Zazo

Eddie Bauer has you covered with the Guide UPF 2.0 Shirt

Britany Greenwalt

4 Outdoor adventures to take in Illinois this Summer

Erica Zazo