When children learn and play in nature they are Healthier, Happier and Smarter. Find the latest research under the categories below.
Are physically and mentally healthier
Time spent outdoors supports many aspects of children’s mental and physical health. Below are some of the research studies that make the case that nature is an important part of a child's (and adult's) health. Some of the areas of focus are on obesity prevention, muscle development, eye sight and depression. However, there are many other positive effects that children and families benefit from when they spend time playing, exploring and learning in nature.
Do better in school
Children that spend more time in the outdoors do better in math, science and critical thinking. Young children start school with better executive functions, older children who are allowed time outdoors during the school day are less restless during learning time.
Have higher self esteem
Children who have experiences in the outdoors can have higher self-esteem as they learn to work through problems, test assumptions, and challenge themselves in an outdoor setting. Below is the research study "The Nature of The View From Home- Psychological Benefits of Nature" and excerpts from an article produced by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Have good self-discipline
Access to nature can have many positive effects on a child's health and well-being. One of the effects is on how a child develops a since of self-discipline. Below is a copy of the "Health Benefits to Children from Contact with the Outdoors and Nature," plus excerpts from an article produced by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that cites the important role that nature plays in developing a child's self-discipline.
Feel more capable and confident
Children who spend time playing in nature are more capable, confident and have higher resilience. These are all abilities that parents want for their children.
Are good problem-solvers
Time spent outdoors supports many aspects of children’s health. Below is a snapshot from Dr. Stephen R. Kellert of Yale University "Nature and Childhood Development." that cites the importance of nature play and how it relates to problem solving during a child's development. Also included is a statement from National Wildlife Federation and their findings from a 2010 survey.
Are more cooperative with others
Time spent outdoors supports many aspects of children’s health, including their ability to connect and cooperate with others. Below is a copy of the "Health Benefits to Children from Contact with the Outdoors" and excerpts from an article produced by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Are more creative
Time spent outdoors, exploring nature is a time when children learn to use their imagination. Below is a copy of "Health Benefits to Children from Contact with the Outdoors & Nature" plus an excerpt from an article produced by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Feel connected with nature
Children who have access to nature often develop a positive connection with the environment and have a greater since of connection with it. Below is research supporting the benefits that grow out of a child's connection with nature.
Are tomorrow’s conservation leaders
When children are given the chance to connect with nature at a young age, they are more likely to care about it as adults. Below are articles relating to how connecting kids with nature will help develop the next generation of environmental stewards.