The power of nature-based play

    In the past, children spent hours playing outdoors – climbing trees, playing ball, riding bikes and collecting nature’s treasures. These early experiences helped shape children’s views of the world.

    These days, however, indoor media captures much of a child’s time while fascinating adventures outside remain unexplored.

    Even when children do go outside, their outdoor play spaces consist primarily of plastic or metal play structures that sit atop asphalt or other manufactured materials. Nature is often absent or on the other side of a fence, out of children’s reach.

    Spending time in a nature-rich environment can benefit young children emotionally, developmentally and physically. Some of the benefits are:

    • increased physical activity
    • advanced motor fitness, including coordination, balance and agility
    • better powers of observation
    • enhanced creativity
    • more developed imagination and sense of wonder
    • improved ability to concentrate (particularly in those with Attention Deficit Disorder)
    • better judgement around what is risky and what is safe, resulting in fewer physical accidents
    • enriched ability to better understand themselves
    • greater appreciation of, and respect for, the environment.

    Nature-based play is an important aspect of all Churches of Christ Care early childhood services. In this blog, we will share with you some ideas for increasing your child's experiences in and with nature, in a safe and supportive environment.

     

    If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow children to love the earth before we ask them to save it.

    David Sobel


     

    Posted July 14, 2015 in Blog