Most of us over a certain age often look back with nostalgia to the time when we spent long summer days playing outside.

Building dens, climbing trees and playing hide and seek were among favourite holiday activities that got us into the fresh air.

But more than that, these were games that taught us certain life skills like teamwork, risk assessment and creativity which helped prepare us for life as adults.

They also taught us that being out in nature can be fun as well as a great learning experience.

Nowadays, with the proliferation of virtual reality, computer games and social media, few kids actively seek to spend time out of doors.

This has led to fears that many young people are leading lives remote from nature and most would struggle to identify even the commonest animals and birds.

Now, an annual campaign is striving to redress the balance to show the enormous value of outdoor learning.

From small beginnings in 2012 involving a handful of schools in London, the campaign has grown to become Outdoor Classroom Day - and all schools in Helensburgh and Lomond are being encouraged to take part if they are not already doing so.

The organisers say: "When teachers take learning outdoors they report some powerful impacts: children’s behaviour improves, whole classes are excited to learn, and individuals who feel inhibited by the curriculum often thrive in an outdoor environment.

"When adults think back to their own happiest memories of childhood, they frequently recall the joy of playing outdoors.

"Play is not only central to children’s enjoyment of childhood, but teaches critical life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and creativity.

"Building on the success of the 2018 campaign, our aim is to get as many children as possible playing and learning outside in 2019.

"For some schools, this will be an opportunity to try learning outside the classroom for the first time.

"For teachers who regularly take students outdoors, the day will be a celebration of what they are doing already and a chance to inspire other schools to get involved.

"For everyone, Outdoor Classroom Day will act as a catalyst for more time outdoors every day."

Just recently, support for the campaign was given in the Scottish Parliament thanks to a motion placed by Ruth Maguire MSP.

The motion recognised that outdoor learning improves children's health, engages them with learning and leads them to develop better social skills, enhanced problem solving and team-working skills.

The next Outdoors Classroom Day is on May 23.

More information and details on how schools can sign up is available at