Not much is better than a day outdoors with your family. It’s a great way to get fresh air, be active, and connect with your children and recent studies have shown that there are very real benefits to getting back to nature. While hiking up into the mountains or out to a forest are excellent ways to experience those benefits, you can even get them in the city by going to a local park, a backyard, or a green space in your neighborhood. As parents, we wanted to give you four reasons why getting back to nature is important for your family.
1. Promotes Imagination
Children today have the opportunity to take part in a lot of structured play. While structured play is important, children need unstructured play for early development. Allowing your children to go outside and play in nature encourages them to use their imagination and design their own games and activities. These skills will help young people approach the world in inventive and creative ways, which can help with problem solving.
2. Encourages Physicality
There’s no question that when you’re outside there is much more room to move around. Imagine trying to play tag in the living room… instant disaster! Getting outside allows children to run, jump, and be as active as possible. While running around a field is an excellent way to burn off energy, it’s important to appreciate that even a simple nature walk does a great deal of good. Long walks will get the blood circulating while allowing your children to develop an interest in physical activity.
3. Makes Them Think
Being out in nature allows children an opportunity to ask questions about their physical environment, and also provides the chance for teachable moments. We know that kids love to ask questions about what they’re encountering in their lives, now transport them into the great outdoors and just imagine the questions that will come to mind. “Why is there dirt everywhere?”, “why is that slug eating those plants?”, “why do some trees have leaves and others have needles?”. These questions encourage their inquisitive minds and help children better understand the planet.
4. Reduces Stress
Studies have shown that stress levels in children fall within minutes of seeing green spaces. Additionally, a hurried and highly structured lifestyle can often lead to higher levels of anxiety. Providing kids with a chance to have free time in the outdoors can help to reduce these levels of stress and anxiety.
~ Alicia & Jeremy