Play is natural for children. Playing outside allows children to explore, have adventures and learn about the world. What does mud feel like? How fast can I slide down the slide? Where do different bugs live? We can learn new things through our senses and being outside allows us to have a multi sensory experience. Yes, you can do some of these things without going outside but the experience is not the same. The more access, proximity to, and time spent outdoors and in green spaces is positively associated with higher concentration, greater self-control, and increased memory and academic success (Chawla, 2015).
Richard Louv author of Last Child In The Woods discussed that “Parents already have difficulty balancing work and family life, so adding nature experience can seem like a chore. But another way to view this is that nature is an antidote to stress reduction, greater physical health, more creativity, a deeper sense of spirit, etc… these are the rewards when a family invites nature in.” (p.163).
Here’s a list of 25 fun activities to do that invites more nature into your child’s life:
For more information on nature and play check out Dr. Courtney’s E-Magazine for caregiver’s and professionals (womb to six) https://www.firstplaycafe.com.
Chawla, L. (2015). Benefits of Nature Contact for Children. Journal of Planning Literature, 30(4), 433-452. Downloaded from Chawla- Benefits of Nature Contact for Children
Louv, R. (2008). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
ROSE LAPIERE, LPC, RPT-S, ACS