Why is it important?
Importance of NATURE PLAY
Being with nature is sparse in today's early childhood scenario as children are bombarded with electronic media such as television, video games, mobile phones and tablets.
People have been persuaded to believe that early exposure to computers would make their child intelligent. However, this is the exact opposite of the reality and many researchers have proved the fact that early exposure to any type of electronic media has a large adverse effect on the brain cells and healthy brain development. Such mediums of entertainment breed passivity, obesity, frustration, aggressiveness and depression at later stages of life.
On the contrary, a childhood spent outdoors in places such as parks, lakes, forests or mountains would have a profound impact on one's nature.
Nature develops in us our innate capabilities, making us explorers and discoverers. It engages our mind, kindles our creativity and provides a serene landscape within us.
Nature ensures that we are physically active, making us jump, cruise, skip and hop. Nature builds in us resilience, allows us to takes risks, teaches us responsibility, makes us aware of the environment and the uniqueness of living beings, instills in us a sense of fairness, and of peaceful coexistence.
Benefits of Nature Play
- Children who play regularly in natural environments show more advanced motor fitness, including coordination, balance and agility, and they are sick less often (Grahn, et al. 1997, Fjortoft & Sageie 2001)
- When children play in natural environments, their play is more diverse with imaginative and creative play that fosters language and collaborative skills (Moore & Wong 1997, Taylor, et al. 1998, Fjortoft 2000)
- Exposure to natural environments improves children’s cognitive development by improving their awareness, reasoning and observational skills (Pyle 2002)
- Nature buffers the impact of life’s stresses on children and helps them deal with adversity. The greater the amount of nature exposure, the greater the benefits (Wells & Evans 2003)
- Nature helps children develop powers of observation and creativity and instills a sense of peace and being at one with the world (Crain 2001)
- Early experiences with the natural world have been positively linked with the development of imagination and the sense of wonder (Cobb 1977, Louv 1991).
- Wonder is an important motivator for life long learning (Wilson 1997)
- Children who play in nature have more positive feelings about each other (Moore 1996)
- Outdoor environments are important to children’s development of independence and autonomy (Bartlett 1996)