This blog post is focused on providing parents and educators with information relevant to the benefits of incorporating nature into child development, as well as practical ways to accomplish just that.
What are the benefits of incorporating nature into a child’s learning experiences?
The research is clear, incorporating nature in a child’s learning experiences is extremely beneficial for their development. According to the Natural Learning Initiative, outdoor learning experiences benefit children in the following ways:
Children and adults interact with the natural world every day. It is where we make our lives, and it contains the water we drink, the land on which we plant our feet, and the air we breath. Teaching children to love nature will as a result teach them to value it. To value nature is to take steps to conserve it, something society increasingly needs.
According to the National Wildlife Federation: “Cornell University found that children who spend significant amounts of time immersed in nature and the outdoors such as camping, hiking, or other nature activities in their younger years are more incline to be conservationists or at least be conservation-minded as adults.”
What if going outside isn’t a readily available option due to weather or other circumstances?
While it is encouraged that children get outside to play and learn, it is not always an option. Wisconsin winters and wet springs can make outdoor play next to impossible. Here are some resources for how you can incorporate nature indoors.
Blake Kraussel, Director of Administration and Employee Development