Time in nature for young children will impact their days at home and at school or daycare. So much so that our kids need some outside time every day.
For most of human history, we have had far more time outside than we do now. This divorce from nature has really happened in just one generation. It’s not only because we live in cities. Kids are not getting enough time outdoors. Linda Buzzell, author and psychotherapist, states. “Their need to be outside is not just a thrill, it’s a physical and emotional need. We’ve just forgotten it.”
After the summer holidays, children often have changes. It could be a new daycare or preschool program. Some might be starting kindergarten. Parents and caregivers might have changes in their schedules too. Nature can help kids cope. When children have spent time outdoors, they develop a connection to nature. Nature becomes a familiar and comforting friend. As kids deal with the challenges of something new, they can relax in the familiarity of nature. Many studies are proving nature-time lessens anxiety for kids and grownups.
Enough for the information. Could you use a few ways to spend time outside with kids?
When morning starts at your house, look outside. Kids can go to the window and tell Nature, “Good Morning.” What’s the weather like? Sunny or cloudy? Kids can say good morning to the clouds, rain, puddles, rocks, flowers, plants, and anything else they see. Once you do go outside, listen as you walk along to hear if anything answers.
Pockets of nature might be hiding in towns and cities, but they will be there. Look for them in yards, patios, balconies, or other spaces. Dress for the weather and feel nature on your faces, whether it’s warm, cool, hot, cold, wet, dry, calm or windy.
Parks and playgrounds have areas where kids can just run around or kick a ball outside. Hopefully, there will be some grassy spaces. Blow bubbles, collect nature treasures, have a close encounter of the touch kind with sticks, dirt, and rocks.
A connection to nature will be one of the most powerful resources for your child’s well-being and security. Somehow, outdoor time seems to connect us to our inner nature. As support for growth and development, before going to kindergarten or other program, will your day include time in nature for young children?
To see the rest of the ready poster, check the Before I Go to Kindergarten post.