Children Need Nature is a monthly blog column from our nature preschool program. Read more posts here.
While researching the effects of unstructured play time in nature for young children, I discovered that the benefits are vast and encompass most aspects of children’s development. Play time in nature tends to affect children’s cognitive development, which includes intellectual learning, problem solving skills, and creative inquiry, and can lead to increased concentration, greater attention capacities and higher academic performance. These children also demonstrate “more advanced motor fitness, including coordination, balance and agility, and they are sick less often.
Additionally, the benefits of free play time in nature include reduced stress and symptom relief for some children with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Lastly, unstructured free time in nature can improve children’s social skills, ranging from increasing children’s positive feeling towards one another, decreasing the amount of bullying and violence between children, increasing children’s imagination and creativity, and increasing their communication and language skills. Continue reading