Today’s families and children are fairly limited in their opportunities to spend time enjoying nature. The life of the modern family has drastically changed over the last twenty years. Kids spend more time watching TV, playing video games, and using computers and other electronic devices rather than being active or playing outside. Health problems surrounding these more sedentary activities are already apparent.
The past ten years have uncovered many benefits of children connecting with nature, and they have been documented in a large amount of scientific studies and publications. The conclusion of this collective research is that a child’s psychological, social, academic, psychological, and physical health is improved when given the opportunity to spend time in nature.
For example, kids participate in more imaginative forms of play in green areas. Nature is exceptionally significant for developing competence for creativity, intellectual development, and problem solving.
Studies have also shown that schools using outdoor classrooms or other nature-based experimental learning show noteworthy student improvements in math, science, social studies, and language arts. Students that participated in science programs outdoors were able to improve their test scores in science by 27%.
It has been shown that children who have the opportunity to grow their own fruits and vegetables are more likely to eat the produce and have a better understanding of nutrition. It is also more likely that these children will continue to maintain good eating habits later in their lives.
Children will be happier and healthier if they are given regular opportunities for unstructured playtime outdoors. The ability to spend time in green areas or simply given a view of natural settings enhances self-control, peace and self-discipline. As parents, teachers, and influencers of these children, we need to make these opportunities to be part of nature available for the sake of their overall well being.
Next time you’re looking for a fun family activity, think about going to a pumpkin patch, picking apples, or visiting the garden store for some natural wellness. It is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon and benefit the whole family.
(Statistics and research used were found at http://www.childrenandnature.org/research/)