In today’s society, children are becoming more and more disconnected from the natural world. With the help of television, computers, video games and cell phones, children have developed a lack of interest when it comes to spending quality time outdoors. Research suggests children without direct experiences in nature will miss out on crucial opportunities to enhance their overall well-being, health and relationships. Learn more about the positive benefits of playing outside with your child below.
Several studies have shown that children who play in nature develop more capacities for creativity, intellectual development and problem solving. The same studies also found that kids who engage in playtime outdoors also play more cooperatively with other children.
According to the American Institutes for Research, studies in the U.S. show nature-based experiential education can support student gains in language arts, science, social studies and math. It was even discovered that students who participated in an outdoor science program actually improved their science testing scores by 27%.
Increases Physical Activity
Imagine a child playing in a small patch of the woods, where trees can be used to build forts, or utilized as cover during a game of hide-and-go-seek. Children who are exposed to diverse natural settings, like parks and playgrounds, are more physically active and aware of nutrition than children who are not.
Improves Social Skills
When children are free to roam the outdoors with unstructured playtime, their social skills will increase significantly, and their ability to get along with other children will greatly improve. Unstructured play outside will help your child learn to share, negotiate, problem solve, and most importantly, work with others as a team.
Like adults, children can feel more relaxed after a long walk around the park. Researchers have found that the presence of green plants and green surroundings can reduce anxiety among highly stressed children.
Improves Self Confidence
If your child suffers from low self-esteem, try exposing them to nature on a daily basis. Studies have found that inner city children who have access to green spaces have an enhanced sense of peace, self control and self discipline, especially in girls.
Enrolling Your Child In A Youth Program
At Weaving Earth, our youth programs focus on connecting children to nature, to one another and to themselves through direct outdoor experiences. We believe the natural world allows children to find their inner voice, and listen to that inner voice, as their confidence grows over time. Some of our in depth nature programs for youth include Wild Tenders, Summer Series, Bird Language for Kids, and Family Camps.