When you think about your childhood, how many of your memories involve spending time outside in nature? Do your children spend the same amount of time in the great outdoors as you did? With technology being such a big part of our lives, many children are spending less and less time outside and more time in front of screens.
While it’s fine to have lazy days from time to time and allow your children to spend the day watching movies or playing video games, you should encourage them to get outside as much as possible. Planning on different ways to spend time in nature with your children can be both beneficial to them and you!
At Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, we believe that children need time in nature to explore and learn about the world. Our programs include time spent outside, allowing our students to experience all of the benefits that nature can provide them. In this blog, we are going to talk about the benefits of spending time in nature for children. Read on to learn more and plan your next outdoor activity today!
Promotes Creativity and Imagination
Spending time outside in nature can help boost your kiddo’s creativity and imagination, which as we have mentioned in many of our previous blogs are major benefits. Allowing your child to play freely and explore the world around them gives them the opportunity to interact with their surroundings and create new activities. Your child’s play is likely to become more creative when surrounded by natural elements. They are also able to use their imagination as they explore their surroundings and learn about the outside world.
Being in nature provides a different type of stimulation than other activities your kiddo may be used to. While being outside may seem to be more calming than stimulating, there is so much to take in. The sounds, smells, sights, and feelings of nature will stimulate your child’s mind. Since many children do not spend a ton of time outside, their senses are not being stimulated in this way as often, which can narrow their senses. Get outside with your kiddo and let them experience all that the world has to offer.
Keeps Them Active
Being outside encourages children to play and stay active. When you interact with nature, the activities you do are often more active than activities that you do inside. Heading outside for a hike or a walk through a natural area is a great way to get your kids moving and allow them to start enjoying physical activity in a different way. Not only is exercise and physical activity good for children’s bodies, but it also helps stimulate their minds and improve their focus. It is also beneficial for children with ADHD. If you want your child to start being more active, head outside with them, and show them how fun the great outdoors can be.
Nature can help improve your child’s focus and attention. This is beneficial when it comes to their learning and being able to pay attention in class. Spending time outside, even something as simple as going for a walk, can help restore a kiddo’s attention and allow them to concentrate better. Even a view of nature from the window can help boost your child’s ability to focus.
When children begin to spend more time outside, they can gain a feeling of confidence. Since the activities that they can do outside are much less structured than indoor activities and the ways they can interact with nature is unlimited, they are able to be in control of their own actions. When your kiddo feels in control of the activities they take part in and gets to interact with nature in their own way, they will build confidence in their decisions. Kids who spend more time in nature also have an easier time socializing and making friends, which can boost confidence as well.
Encourages Social Connection
As we just mentioned, kids who spend more time outside have an easier time connecting with others and making new friends. Playing outside and exploring nature gives children the opportunity to make up games with others, explore new interests, and build new relationships. The great outdoors gives your child the opportunity to find new ways to connect with others and make friends.
Improves Cognitive Skills
The natural world has a way of getting people, especially children, to ask questions and think differently about the things around them. What are clouds made of? Why do leaves change colors in the fall? Where do squirrels sleep at night? These types of questions will begin to travel through your kiddos’ mind as they explore nature and take in their natural surroundings. Being outside will make your child think more about the earth and everything on it. This boosts their curiosity as well, which leads them to a desire to learn more.
Connects Them To Nature
One of the biggest benefits of spending time outside, in nature, with your children, is that it helps them build a connection to nature. They will learn that the natural world is a special place and will begin to develop a love for it, which will turn into a desire to protect it as they get older. When you spend time outside with your children, you can help them learn more about the world around them and gain an appreciation for it.
There are many benefits to spending time in nature with your kiddos. While it can be easy to sit in front of a screen all day long, getting outside, going for a walk, and even laying in the grass can get their brains working, stimulate their senses, and provide them with numerous other benefits.
At Yellow Brick Road, we believe that children need to spend time outside to explore the world around them. Our programs include time outside, allowing your children to learn about and grow a love for the natural world. Learn more about our programs and be sure to contact us today!