Have Better Self-discipline

Self-discipline is an important development that many children struggle with. Spending time in nature can help children slow down, consider their options and make direct connections between cause and effects.

Access to Nature Nurtures Self-Discipline

This study focuses on the positive benefits to inner city youth, particularly girls, from access to green spaces for play. Even a view of green settings enhances peace, self-control, and self-discipline. While the results are most notable for girls, the evidence is not limited to the positive impact on girls. (Original Research)

Taylor, Andrea Faber; Frances E. Kuo; and William C. Sullivan. "Views of Nature and Self-Discipline: Evidence from Inner City Children." In the Journal of Environmental Psychology, 21, 2001. © 2001 Academic Press. Available on the Web site of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, at

Nature Makes You Nicer

Increased time in nature makes one nicer, enhances social interactions and more.

Study: Weinstein, N., Przybylski, A. K., & Ryan, R. M. (2009). “Can nature make us more caring? Effects of immersion in nature on intrinsic aspirations and generosity.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1315-1329.

Facilitating social emotional learning in kindergarten classrooms: Situational factors and teachers' strategies

The development of social emotional skills and competencies is a critical part of early childhood development. This study explored how social emotional learning (SEL) is supported by early childhood education teachers in Singapore kindergarten (aka preschool) classrooms.

Observations were conducted in six preschool classrooms: two classrooms from kindergartens run by the government; two classrooms from not-for-profit kindergartens; and two classrooms from commercial childcare centers. Two research assistants conducted the observations and made video recordings. The length of the recordings ranged from 1 hour 40 minutes to 3 hours 22 minutes. The recordings focused on a variety of indoor and outdoor activities reflecting a typical day in the kindergarten classrooms. Two questions framed the study: (1) How do situational factors (group size, activity, and type of teaching opportunity) influence the frequency of SEL support? (2) What types of strategies do teachers use to support SEL in areas identified in the national curriculum (self-awareness and positive self-concept, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, and responsible decision-making)?


Ng, S.C., Bull, R., (2018). Facilitating social emotional learning in kindergarten classrooms: Situational factors and teachers' strategies. International Journal of Early Childhood, 50(3), 335-352.