Why Children Need Nature To Learn
On average, toddlers will take 176 steps per minute. Once babies begin to walk, parents spend a great deal of time catching up. After the infant and toddler years, your child's education becomes much more complex than simply putting one foot in front of the other.
Ensuring that your child has the best possible education means maximizing their intellectual, emotional, and physical health. Nature is one of the most effective ways to do it.
Unfortunately, people are also spending less time outdoors than ever before. "More and more children today have less and less contact with the natural world. And this is having a huge impact on their health and development," The Guardian writes.
Learn why nature preschool is so essential to your child's education, and how to encourage kids to spend more time outdoors.
Nature Improves Academic Performance
Did you know that spending time in nature can improve kids' grades? If you have your reservations about nature preschool or sending young kids to programs that focus on spending time outdoors, think again. Countless studies show that kids perform better at schools with some outdoor classes or mostly classes outdoors. "When compared to peers attending regular schools, those who’d attended school outside had significantly stronger reading and writing skills (as measured by standardized tests) and reported feeling more excited about school because of the experience," Greater Good Magazine writes.
Students who attend nature preschools or schools with at least some outdoor classes are also more likely to have higher attendance scores and are better able to grasp science lessons and experiments.
Nature Gets Kids In The Right Mindset
How exactly does this work? Why would nature preschool or Pre-K programs with a focus on outdoor learning be more effective than indoor lessons? One of the biggest benefits of outdoor learning is its impact on children's emotional and mental well-being.
Spending time outside reduces anxiety and restlessness -- and it does this to such a degree that it can help alleviate symptoms of ADHD as well. Plus, from an intellectual point of view, experts agree that nature encourages a STEM mindset. Nature prompts children to question their surroundings and experience new sights, sounds, scents, and textures.
The Outdoors Spark Creativity
Whether taking part in nature preschool classes or simply enjoying some time outdoors, spending time outside encourages kids to think differently. This type of learning or play is often freeform -- without the typical restrictions. Being able to play, explore, and think for themselves encourages problem-solving and creativity. Ultimately, this can lead to a propensity for art, music, and language.
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Are More Active
Your emotional and intellectual well-being is dependent on your physical well-being. That means, to optimize your child's education, it is important to mind their physical health as well. Staying active will keep kids' brains, bones, and hearts healthy.
Being outdoors promotes swinging on swings, running, tumbling, hopping and skipping -- actions that keep kids physically well. Most exercise increases blood flow to the brain, leading to better sleep, more confidence, and stronger critical thinking skills to buoy math and reading comprehension skills. Similarly, activities that bear weight, like climbing and running, are good for children's bones, and running, swimming, and riding bikes promotes good heart health.
Keeping children's physical health in-check reduces stress and promotes favorable learning outcomes.
Don't stifle children by keeping them cooped up indoors. Enroll them in a nature preschool or a daycare center with outdoor classes. Set aside time specifically for outdoor play, and stick to it. Spend time outdoors as a family to keep your kid active, happy, healthy, and learning.