Most of us spent a lot of time in nature as children, climbing trees, exploring rocks and insects, or just playing games outside with friends. Little did we know that these fun activities built our brains, bodies, and characters for later life. Sadly, today children do not spend as much time as they once did in the past and they miss out on the numerous long-term benefits nature has to offer. Let’s go through a few of them below:
1) FEWER CONFLICTS ARISE BETWEEN CHILDREN
In nature, we have nothing, and children know that. It is there to feed us and entertain us, but it does not belong to us. This causes the usual conflicts of “this is mine”, “I had this”, fights over toys, a particular doll or a bicycle disappear. It is not that these problems are completely negative, everything can be learned, and it is also necessary to learn to respect what the other has at any given time. Still, more outdoor play generates a calmer environment, which is very beneficial for the little ones.
2) NATURE ENCOURAGES TEAMWORK
When they interact outside, children are more than willing to cooperate. They are aware that you can’t move a big tree trunk or build a cool hut by yourself, and if someone tries in vain, someone else always comes to the rescue. Groups and teamwork are organized spontaneously.
3) FOSTER IMAGINATION
Everything we find on the mountain or in the sea is unstructured material. Elements that are part of nature have no specific purpose for play, but it allows children to imagine and create all kinds of things. It’s lovely to see them in those conditions. For instance, we see sticks turn into swords, earth into broken chocolate, tree trunks into cars; the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
4) EQUALITY BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS
In nature, children play with sticks, rocks, climb mountains and trees, allowing them to create more common games between the two genders. Those preconceived ideas that girls play with dolls and boys play with cars are not found outdoors. Besides, racial discrimination is also not there; everyone there under the same sky, they are the same, they have the same rights.
5) LESS STRESS
Nature provides a more relaxed environment because there are no walls to confine children, nor small spaces in which they can feel overwhelmed. They just enjoy the fact that they can witness bees feast on a flower, the squirrels share food; the butterflies fly, touch the plants, hear the sound of running water, the infectious laugh of another child. These are already enough reasons to forget stress, and for parents who decide to take care of them at this stage, we assure you that it is more than a great challenge; it is beautiful to see them grow up happy and healthy.
6) SELF-CONFIDENCE AND COURAGE TO FACE CHALLENGES
Playing outside, whether in a well-designed playground or park, with natural elements of nature, offers children endless opportunities to assess risk. Before they climb a tree, they should think about how they will go up and, of course, how they will go down. Sometimes they will even believe they can’t do something and try anyway. And finally, they do it.
7) CHILDREN ARE HAPPIER AND MORE CHEERFUL
The most important reason of all: kids are delighted there, especially in the summer. Seeing them being so cheerful, it becomes almost impossible to refuse to spend a few hours outside in the park.
Don’t you think that when the little ones run through the woods, they jump and hide, climb trees, pick flowers, they are complete? It seems they are in their place.