Have you noticed why most children just love playing outside or get really excited at the prospect of camping, visiting a nature site or exploring the forest? This is because we are all naturally drawn to the outdoors. Spending time in wide open spaces with fresh air does a lot to the mind, body and soul.
Here are some important reasons why kids need to spend time in nature and the outdoors:
It offers a different type of stimulation
Being out in nature is a multi-sensory experience. It activates all senses – you can see, hear and touch the environment which can enrich human experience like no other. Children can learn things from their natural surroundings that they can’t learn at home or inside their classrooms.
It sparks creativity and imagination
Spending time in the wilderness allows for unstructured style of play – the little ones are free to interact with their surroundings however they want, compared to say, playing a video game. Playing in nature enhances their creativity, imagination and independence because they can design their own activities, think more freely and approach play and learning in ways that are inventive.
It enhances confidence levels
Compared to indoor play, outdoors play allows your child to choose his own actions because there are countless ways of interacting with the environment. He can try and learn many things on his own and each achievement builds up his confidence, whether it’s as simple as finding an item from a treasure hunt list or learning to climb a tree.
It’s good for the health
When you spend time in nature regularly, both the mind and the body is benefited. The quiet and peaceful vibe of nature effectively reduces stress and fatigue. The Attention Restoration Theory, humans practice soft fascination, an effortless type of attention that creates feelings of pleasure. As for the physical aspect, being outdoors gets you moving – a good break from our usual sedimentary lifestyle.
It teaches responsibility
Kids are very curious beings and they question everything, including how plants and trees grow. When a child is familiar with natural environments, he is more likely to know the importance of taking care of living things like animals and plants.
So plan a family outdoor trip with the children (involve them in the planning process!), get your bags packed and remember these reasons why kids need to spend time in nature and the outdoors.