Did you know that children who spend time outside in nature have better mental health? This article will discuss some of the scientific findings on the benefits of nature for children. It will also provide tips on how parents can get their kids outdoors and enjoy all that nature has to offer!
The scientific community has long been aware of the benefits of nature for children. In fact, a study published in 2008 in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that time in nature can help improve attention span and reduce stress levels in kids. The study’s authors suggested that “interventions involving contact with nature may represent a promising approach to alleviating some of the detrimental effects of modern life on children’s mental health.”
So what are some of the specific benefits of nature for children?
One benefit is that it can help reduce stress levels. For example, a study published in 2016 in the journal PLOS ONE found that children who participated in a “forest school” program had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who did not participate in the program. The Forest School program involved weekly visits to a local forest where children participated in activities such as hiking, nature crafts, and campfire songs.
Another benefit of nature is that it can promote creativity. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that children who spent time in a “nature-based setting” showed increased creativity on problem-solving tasks compared to those who did not spend time in nature. The study’s authors suggested that “the opportunity to engage with diverse natural materials and elements (e.g., sticks, stones, water) may promote creative thinking by providing opportunities for unusual combinations and new perspectives.”
So how can parents get their kids outdoors and enjoy all the benefits nature offers?
1) Make it a regular part of your routine:
Just like anything else, the key to getting your kids outdoors is to make it a regular part of your routine. So, if you can, aim to get outside every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
If you live in an urban area and don’t have easy access to nature, there are still ways to incorporate it into your daily life. For example, you can take walks around the block or visit local parks. Even spending time in your backyard can be beneficial!
2) Enrol your children in adventure holidays
Adventure holidays are a great way to engage kids outdoors and in nature. There are many different types of adventure holidays available, from camping trips to survival courses.
Research has shown that adventure activities can positively benefit children, including increased self-esteem and confidence. Adventure holidays can also be a great bonding experience for families!
3) Bring nature inside
If you can’t get outside as often as you’d like, there are ways to bring nature inside. One way is to grow houseplants, which have been shown to improve indoor air quality. You can also decorate your home with nature-themed art or add a water feature such as a small fountain.
If you’re looking for ways to get your kids more connected to nature, these tips should help. Remember, the key is to make it a regular part of your routine and to find activities that your children will enjoy. Then, with a little effort, you can help your kids reap all the benefits that nature has to offer!Love Lilla xx