The Benefits of Free Flow Learning Environments

‘Free flow learning environments’ are areas within an education establishment that help to bridge the gap between internal and external learning. Their purpose? To aid a pupil’s discovery of the outdoor realm.

Whilst areas for free flow learning & play in schools are said to be most beneficial to those in an early years setting, they can of course also be an accompaniment to learning throughout a pupil’s entire school life.

The Main Benefits of Free Flow Learning and Play

  • Independence,
  • Inclusivity,
  • Decision making skills,
  • Wellbeing,
  • Environmental education,
  • Spatial awareness.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of free flow learning in more detail…


Free flow play and learning areas encourage children to make their own rules. Providing an outdoor classroom will create a place where children can play, explore and learn as independents.


Some children learn better when outside. One reason for this is that free flow learning enables children to learn and respond to activities and stimuli in their own way and at their own pace. Therefore, no child will feel rushed into doing a certain activity.

Decision Making Skills

Fluid play and outdoor learning both allow children to practise the act of choice making. Subsequently, they’ll also learn action and consequence and have the responsibility of handling their decisions.


Access to the outdoors gives children space to run, explore and expel energy. Taking time out from the scheduled school routine helps boost mental and physical wellbeing, as well as contributing to a greater sense of confidence.

Environmental and Spatial Awareness

Outdoor, free flow learning helps children to feel closer to nature and to understand and explore the workings of the environment, as well as the concept of the internal and external space.

How to Create a Space for Free Flow Learning and Play

Every child can benefit from learning and engaging with the outdoor environment. You can create a free flow learning environment with a canopy or a shelter installed either as an extension of the main school building, or simply nearby it.

Check out our wide range of outdoor learning canopies, also available as partially or full enclosed extensions to the school building.

If you can’t see what you’re looking for, get in touch with one of our experts; we’re always happy to help!

The Benefits of Free Flow Learning Environments – Free Flow Learning Environments and the Benefits of Free Flow Play – Broxap Shelters

Rufford Primary & Nursery School – Outdoor classroom case study

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