“Children who grow up closer to nature are said to be happier,” says studies.
I come from an era where technology had not set in our lives as much as it is today. So outdoor activities like planting trees, recycling paper waste to productive methods of usage, and just being out playing in the mud, making houses with twigs enhanced our creativity.
As a mother of a 2.5-year-old, I feel it is pertinent to introduce kids to nature and outdoor activities as much as possible. Besides making children happier and reducing their stress, here are few other reasons why connecting your kids to nature can be useful for their physical and mental development.
- It stimulates their different senses – Nature may seem less stimulating than your son’s violent video game, but in reality, it activates more senses—you can see, hear, smell, and touch outdoor environments.
- It promotes their creativity and imagination – This unstructured style of play also allows kids to interact meaningfully with their surroundings. They can think more freely, design their own activities, and approach the world in inventive ways.
- It fuels their curiosity – Nature creates a unique sense of wonder for kids that no other environment can provide. The phenomena that occur naturally in backyards and parks everyday make kids ask questions about the earth and the life that it supports.
- It builds their confidence – The way kids play in nature has a lot less structure than most types of indoor play. There are infinite ways to interact with outdoor environments, from the backyard to the park to the local hiking trail or lake, and letting your child choose how he treats nature means he has the power to control his own actions.
- It teaches them to be responsible – Living things die if mistreated or not taken care of properly, and entrusting a child to take care of the living parts of their environment means they’ll learn what happens when they forget to water a plant or pull a flower out by its roots.
- It encourages physical activity – Most ways of interacting with nature involve more exercise than sitting on the couch. Your kid doesn’t have to be joining the local soccer team or riding a bike through the park—even a walk will get her blood pumping.
So while screen time is the easier, more popular choice, it’s important to set aside time for outdoor play.
– Meherangiz Sharma, Mother of a 2.5 year old girl