How Kids Benefit From Learning And Playing In Nature

August 08, 2020

Quote of the Week

"Nature is a tool to get children to experience not just the wider world but themselves." --Stephen Moss

How Kids Benefit From Learning And Playing In Nature

"We all know that there is something special about being in nature. For many of us, witnessing nature is intrinsically rewarding. It can inspire positive emotions and meaningful, introspective experiences. It might be the beauty, or the awe-inspiring forces we witness -- like the rush of water, or the controlled dive of a bird. It might be that being surrounded by other, nonhuman living things and geological features makes us aware of being part of something much bigger than ourselves. It might be the perspective we discover during immersions in nature: the awareness that our everyday, human doings represent only a small sliver of reality.

Such realizations are prized in many spiritual traditions, and experiments confirm they help us cope with stress. To the degree that kids share these sensibilities -- or learn to associate nature with pleasant, invigorating, or uplifting experiences -- that's bound to affect the way they react to outdoor learning." Learn more in this week's featured article which discusses how outdoor learning delivers many benefits for children -- reducing stress, improving moods, boosting concentration, and increasing a child's engagement at school.

Reading Corner

Title: Play the Forest School Way: Woodland Games and Crafts for Adventurous Kids
Author: Peter Houghton and Jane Worroll
Recommended Ages: 5-11

"Forest School is founded on a philosophy of nature-based play and learning that encourages children to develop confidence and self-esteem. This book will get your kids outside, making and building in the real world (instead of on a computer screen!). Whether your local woodland is a forest or a strip of trees along the edge of an urban park, these activities provide fantastic opportunities for family time and will encourage your children to fall in love with outdoor play. This is the first book to share Forest School games, crafts and skill-building activities with families and friends, its magical illustrations and simple instructions drawing children easily into a world of wonder."

Be the Change

Try out some of the forest school activities with your family and share with friends. If you are home-schooling during this time choose a different craft or game to try out each day in your own version of a forest school.  Try any of these activities to get started!