The way we are living today differs a lot from the way our predecessors were living. Once upon a time, cities were smaller and people used to have more time for themselves and their children. They were close to nature and they used to spend more time exploring it.
Things are very different today. People who make a lot of money have long working hours because their company management requires that while those who don’t make a lot of money are trying to make as much as possible by having two jobs. We leave our houses in the morning and come back in the evening when our kids usually go to sleep. Even if we don’t work at weekends, we are trying to use that time to get some sleep, clean houses/apartments, and at least get one meal together. It has become very difficult to find some time to go outside and have some family time in the natural environment.
Technological progress has brought many good and useful things into our lives that save our time. However, it has brought TVs, video games, Internet, etc. that are kind of addictive and don’t let us out of our rooms. Children are even more exposed to their effects and it can be very dangerous if we let them use these technologies without any supervision.
We are so focused on our daily routine that we don’t even think about how beneficial it would be to change it from time to time. The parents are not the only ones to blame. Schools have also forgotten about the benefits of playing and learning in a natural environment. This is why we have decided to write this article and remind you of all the positive effects of playing and learning in a natural environment.
How Can Nature Help Our Kids?
It is well-known and many studies confirm that spending time in nature supports the cognitive, emotional, and physical development of children. Many accessories that are used for learning and playing at home or in schools originate from nature. So, why wouldn’t we skip a few steps, go in the woods, and find those accessories in their original condition?
Toys, pencils, notebooks, books, etc. are made from wood and other natural materials. They are being severely processed so they can be sold to us in the shape and form that’s familiar to our kids. In the woods, we can find those materials but in the original condition and they can also be used by our kids for playing and learning. For example, branches and leaves can be used for building different objects. That way, children can develop some skills even without Lego toys.
Nature is beneficial for our mental health
We all know that green color is associated with freedom and that it has a calming and relaxing effect on the human brain. Not only adults are exposed to stress. Kids are also affected by our lifestyle, our problems, etc. They also get stressed in schools that have become very competitive. This is why we can all use some free time and ask nature to help us. Breathing fresh air and sensing nothing but peace and freedom can help us recharge our batteries, get more energy, and achieve better results in the week to come.
Nature supports children’s cognitive development
If a child regularly spends time in a natural environment, he/she will become more able to focus and memorize things that should be learned. They will learn new things in a completely friendly environment and they will lose the fear of school and classroom, which will later result in better results in school and college. We all want our children to have higher grades and spending more time in nature is an easy way to make it happen.
Also, if outdoor classrooms are part of the school program, students have better academic performance. They get the opportunity to perform experiments in a natural environment, which makes them more involved and more focused. This method is mostly applicable to natural science studies (chemistry, math, biology, etc.). It is also applicable to art programs because nature is the biggest and the best source of inspiration.
Playing and learning in a natural environment helps develop motoric skills
Children are usually not allowed to run and jump inside their rooms and houses, especially their classrooms, but when they are in a park or in the woods, they can do all those things they aren’t allowed to do at home or at school.
Children love to explore, to run, and chase each other. They will fall and probably hurt themselves sometimes, so you should never leave them unsupervised, but during the process, they will develop motoric skills and become nimbler than the kids that play indoors.
Active kids are healthier and more prone to practicing sports, which will be beneficial in the future when they grow up. These kids also notice things easier and faster, and they become bolder and fearless.
Spending time in a natural environment improves social skills
Nature makes us closer to each other and it makes our children more interested in playing with other kids. In case you can’t go outside the city, take your kids to some park where they can play with other children. It can also be beneficial, especially at early ages, because it will help your child socialize, which will later help him/her to make friends and generally communicate with other people.
Children who learn how to communicate with their peers at an early age won’t be afraid to communicate in school or at college and won’t be afraid to express their opinions. This can also help them accept other cultures and different types of people. All these skills can be very useful when it comes to finding and keeping jobs.
Apart from the fact that people have forgotten how helpful can spending time in a natural environment be, they have also forgotten how this can be beneficial for nature itself.
When people become friends with nature at an early age, they learn to respect it and they have a better understanding of how important nature is for all of us. They will fall in love with it and will learn how to protect it from pollution and destruction and maybe manage to affect other people to do the same thing.
This part is very important because we need more people willing to take care of our environment as this is one of the most important keys to our survival. Without clean water and air, we will hardly make it.
In the end, we just want to remind you that playing and learning in a natural environment can lead not only to higher grades but also to the better general health of your children.
Some studies have revealed that spending time in the woods, at lakes or in parks can help your child avoid all the health issues that have appeared in the modern era. Sitting in front of computers, playing video games, and spending too much time indoors causes depression, obesity, and even cardiovascular diseases.
Spending time in a natural environment increases children activity, especially if they are playing with their pets or other kids. These activities will burn excess calories, make children stronger and more resistant to all kinds of diseases starting from a simple cold. As supervising kids is a full-time job, you will, as parents, also be more active and you will soon notice some benefits of playing and learning with music in a natural environment.
You don’t have to pack your bags immediately and go camping. Start small – go to the nearest park and take a short walk with your child.
Don’t hesitate and don’t be afraid – just pack some water and some healthy snacks or even some spare clothes and go out. We promise you won’t regret it!