“Nature is a tool to get children to experience not just the wider world, but themselves.” – Stephen Moss
Our favourite thing at the moment is going for a walk in the forest around our home, collecting treasure (beautiful pieces of nature).
It’s amazing how nature can just fix everything. I don’t know if it’s just a thing with my girls or if it’s all children… but we can be having the most awful day, with just about everyone falling apart, and as soon as we walk out the door, it all drifts away. Suddenly, we can all breathe.
So today, instead of walking up and down the hallway with my teething one and a half year old, (I keep going to write ‘baby’ but apparently she’s outgrowing that title… Nooooooooooooo) we went outside. We walked all through the trees and collected the bits of nature that we liked the most. Elinka loved it. She’d been crying all day, on and off, but as soon as we were outside, she was just happy. She was wild and free and happy. It was as if the trees took her pain away and she could just be and explore.
What is nature play? Here’s the answer from children’s perspectives.
Why is playing outside so important?
Some of the benefits of playing outside include:
- Dirt and bacteria improve the immune system
- Children are more physically active, decreases the rates of obesity
- Better muscle and coordination abilities
- Helps children to become more creative in their play
- Helps children to become less aggressive
- Improves concentration
- Boosts children’s confidence in themselves and their abilities
- Helps to develop an environmental consciousness
- Increases critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Increases Vitamin D levels, leading to decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, bone problems and other health issues
- Improves distance vision
- Improves independence
- More benefits
The Nature Play WA blog has some beautiful articles and a million ideas for outdoor play with children.