With Earth Day celebrations and events tomorrow, it seems natural to talk about how nature can influence children’s development and kindergarten readiness. Recent studies are finding more and more benefits to spending time outdoors such as improving health and fitness, increasing the length of attention span, promoting problem-solving and observational skills, encouraging creativity, reducing anxiety, and enhancing emotional/social connections.
Spending time in nature is a learning activity. In a way, nature is also a learning strategy because it guides children to be aware of their senses. Sensory experiences depend on awareness. As I watched this wee one sitting in the grass, I could almost see all the brain connections she was making. Her fingers gently touched the grass and she cupped her hand trying to catch it. She intently watched as the grass bent over. It was easy to see how content and relaxed she was and how she was giving it her full attention.
Your community may have lots of activities for families. All week there have been great suggestions for Earth Day crafts. But one of the most important things to do is to spend time experiencing what the Earth has to offer.
How will your family participate in Earth Day?