A new study into the impact of outdoor activity on children’s wellbeing suggests that being outside can also make youngsters feel more confident and capable of trying new things.
Studies show that children are more creative when exposed to nature; they can use all their senses rather than just sight and sound; they can use their imagination. Children in nature-based playgrounds engaged in more creative play than children in traditional asphalt/structure-based playgrounds. The benefits of getting kids in nature can be seen on many levels.
- Outdoor play increases fitness levels and builds active, healthy bodies, an important strategy in helping the one in three American kids who are obese get fit.
- Spending time outside raises levels of vitamin D, helping protect children from future bone problems, heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues.
- Being outside improves distance vision and lowers the chance of nearsightedness.
- Exposure to natural settings may be widely effective in reducing ADHD symptoms.
- Schools with environmental education programs score higher on standardized tests in math, reading, writing, and listening.
- Exposure to environment-based education significantly increases student performance on tests of their critical thinking skills.
- Children’s stress levels fall within minutes of seeing green spaces.
- Play protects children’s emotional development, whereas loss of free time and a hurried lifestyle can contribute to anxiety and depression.
- Nature makes children nicer, enhancing social interactions, value for community, and close relationships.
In order to raise adults who are passionate about protecting the environment and preserving our planet, they must first develop a deep love for it. The only way to enable children to grow comfortable in nature is to open the door and let them out to explore the wonder and awe of the natural world.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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