TEACHERS across South Africa are called to take at least one lesson outdoors on Thursday, October 12 as part of the global Outdoor Classroom Day campaign. The campaign is a response to the decline in the time that children spend outdoors. Research conducted by Edelman Berland for Unilever, has found that two in three children globally, play outside for less than an hour and a half a day. In 2016, almost half a million children around the world got involved by having their lessons outside and celebrating playtime too.Outdoor learning improves children’s health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater understanding of nature. Play not only teaches critical life skills such as resilience, teamwork and creativity, but is central to children’s enjoyment of childhood.South Africa is not alone in its drive to reconnect children with the outdoors. Thousands of schools across the world are taking part in this campaign. To date, 2 019 270 children around the globe are getting involved. Over 4 000 children in South Africa have already been registered to take part in 2017. With the help of teachers across the country, the campaigners hope to dramatically grow that number in the run up to October 12. Getting outdoors to play and learn isn’t just ‘nice to have’, but is critical for children’s development. The campaign is led globally by social enterprise Project Dirt. Nick Gardner, CEO and co-founder said: “We’re calling on teachers, parents and anyone who cares about childhood to get involved in the campaign. Whether that’s by taking a class outdoors, encouraging your child’s school to sign up, or helping spread the message far and wide, everyone can do something to make sure children across the country experience the benefits of playing and learning outdoors.”There are lots of resources available to support people to take action at: www.outdoorclassroomday.com Get involved in Outdoor Classroom Day and help make sure children across the country have happy childhoods and are well prepared for the future.Outdoor Classroom Day is run in partnership with Unilever as part of their Dirt is Good movement. -Supplied.