For children, contact with nature is important because it stimulates all their senses and challenges them to explore. Many current social problems, such as obesity or anxiety, are partly due to the loss of this proximity.
Chances are that many children who grow up now will be deprived of such memories in the future, but paying a little attention around us, parents can give our children the opportunity to acquire those unforgettable moments.
Being outdoors, playing freely, and discovering nature in an open way helps children develop their senses, motor skills, social skills, and creativity.
Many of us have fond memories of our outdoor childhood, and from always nature for preschoolers to high school has played an important role. Catching tadpoles, building huts, or sitting around a campfire with friends are experiences that have helped us in our physical and cognitive development.
Children who play little in the wild are more likely to be overweight and eat unhealthily than children who play in the wild and exercise enough. They are also more likely to have behavioral problems and are more anxious than children who grow up in a green environment.
Nature is not only important for children but vice versa, children are also important to nature. After all, childhood experiences lead to respect and appreciation in adulthood.
Love for nature is often created during childhood. And this seed sown in childhood will probably make them worry about nature in adulthood.
The generation that is growing now has few experiences in nature. As a result, these children will then choose not to protect nature and live their lives with little environmental awareness.
Little contact with nature
Families sometimes have too narrow a perception of nature by seeing nature only in a large forest or nature reserve. They do not know that nature can also be found in the city. Urban nature may be less spectacular, but not inferior. In most cities, there are parks of different sizes where children can enjoy an afternoon in nature. If you live in a city you can find a green place to enjoy with your little ones.
Purple cows and diced spinach
Some children are so influenced by the media, especially by advertising that they lack an objective perception of flora and fauna. It can cause surprise and grace, but there are also children who think that milk comes from the supermarket and that spinach grows in cubes to cream.
Many children leave home in the morning to go to school by car or public transport and return in the afternoon by the same medium and at the time of playing, they do so at home, often with video games or the computer. Parents fill their schedules with activities to prepare them for the future, they care about their safety, they are in protected environments, they don’t get wet, don’t get dirty, don’t bite them, but don’t remember to give them a little bit of freedom to play and explore nature.
In addition to school, the family has an important task in this. Because parents can connect their child to nature from an early age. Speaking of nature, exploring and experiencing nature together.
Nature’s benefits for children
– Playing in the forest can positively influence a child’s motor skills
– In a natural gaming environment, it is more creative and varied.
– Children are active learners, researchers, and nature offers a complete sensory experience, they can touch, smell, see, hear, try…
– Nature offers a high amount of stimuli that contact with it makes the child in an open space, with a sense of freedom, with the ability to move freely, to observe the processes that occur, and that is fundamental for the development of his movement skills but also a stimulus for his neurons, for his emotions and for his learning.
– Nature is many other things, it is beauty, it is the ability to marvel and bedazzled, but above all nature stimulates the senses, without over-stimulating the child.
– When we go out daily to play with children in natural environments you don’t have to use just clay or similar, nature offers them multiple textures to experiment.
Activities for children in or with nature
You can create a garden even if you don’t have much space at home, you can simply reserve a space of the home to have a few pots with different plants, be able to take care of them, and observe with develop. Children can learn what plants need to stay healthy and see the fruits of their care. Taking care of plants always brings us closer to nature and to the earth.
The earth as a sensory experience
Children feel free to stain and play often stain their bodies with dirt and mud. It is a very powerful sensory experience that offers a texture other than sand. It’s worth letting the little ones try it.
Close your eyes and rediscover your surroundings
Whenever you can go out into the forest or a quiet park, try closing your eyes and touching the different elements you find, the bark of the tree, the wet leaves, the smelly earth. Give yours for a few minutes to listen to the birds, the breeze that moves the branches or simply, the silence. You can play to close your eyes and through the touch to guess what element of nature is all about.
A rich outdoor snack
Organizing a snack in the park or in the forest can be a fun way to organize time in nature and practice the organization, knowing that after we have played and eaten there is collecting everything so we could leave the place clean as we found it when we arrived.
He thinks it is worth going out more often in the countryside with the little ones and naturalizing the outdoor spaces of urban parks or forests to the maximum so that all children can enjoy the advantages of growing up in outdoor spaces and in nature.
All the information we give you in this article is indicative as each child and each family is different and unique.
Carolina González Ramos
Edda Virtual Solutions
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