Benefits of Connecting Children with Nature
Category | BABY
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We are in the age of technology. So many children are consumed and raised by technology: ipads, Leapfrog, TV, computers, video games, smart screens, phones and loads more. Now more than ever we are disconnected from nature as well as the benefits it brings to us. Children are capable of identifying 20 brand name labels before they even learn 5 native trees present in their communities. Kids are becoming more and more disconnected as school days last longer, less emphasis is being made on the natural world, less time to play, and little time to explore their outdoor surroundings – alone or with parents. We are currently losing more outdoor survival skills as the generations pass. Starting fires, planting seeds, growing food, making shelter, hunting, gathering wild foods, navigation, and lots more. So why does this matter? Well here are some interesting facts about connecting children with nature and the LIFE LONG benefits it can bring.
Supports Multiple Developmental Domains
Many studies have been conducted over the past decade in regards to children in nature and they have concluded that nature is important to children’s development in every major way – intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically.
Improves Academic Performance
Studies conducted by the American Institutes for Research show that schools who use outdoor classrooms and other forms of nature-based experimental education support significant gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math.
Reduces ADHD Symptoms
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Contact with the natural world can significantly reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder in children as young as 5 years old. Being able to explore, run and move about freely allows children to utilize extra energy while calming down through connecting with the natural world and all things around them. Many studies have shown that as little as 30 minutes per day outside can greatly improve mood, mental function, and generally make you feel better.
In a world where 1 of 3 children in the US are obese we can use some extra help with nutrition. Clearly there is something going where we need to help our children improve their lives, physical activity and nutrition. If children grow their own food, they are likely to eat more fruits and vegetables. They also tend to show higher levels of knowledge regarding nutrition which are likely to contribute to improved eating habits. Natural spaces where children can play freely also improve their physical activity levels, thus contributing to overall health and weight loss.
Improves Social Relations
Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier, and happier when they get regular opportunities for free and unstructured play outdoors (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005). Access to green spaces, and even a view of green settings enhances peace, self-control and self-discipline with inner city youth, particularly in girls (Taylor, Kuo, and Sullivan, 2001).
Creativity, imagination, knowledge, understanding, connectedness, closeness, belonging, curiosity, pretend play, stronger immune systems, happier kids, less stress, and so much more. Don’t hesitate to allow your children to enjoy, explore, and risk-play in the great outdoors every single day!
Some great parent-approved products may help you clean your little one when they get in from some mud filled outdoor play:
Hair and Body Baby Wash – Target.com
Parent’s Choice Daily Moisturizing Lotion – $3.74 on Walmart.com
Equate Beauty Tea Tree Dry Shampoo – $2.74 on Walmart.com
For more mommy tips & tricks visit The Savvy Beauty.