Kids need to be in nature! Our parenting philosophy is built around a few themes, and this is right there at the top. There are SO many ways in which nature can benefit a child’s physical and mental health! Time in nature benefits parents and caregivers too, so really it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Is it messy sometimes? You bet. Is it inconvenient sometimes? Absolutely. Is it worth it? YES.
Some Benefits of Kids in Nature
Nature provides opportunities for children to engage in physical activity such as playing, hiking, and exploring. This can improve their cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and coordination.
Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels in both adults and children. This can have a positive impact on mental health, as high levels of stress can lead to anxiety and depression. People in the western world are always saying they want or need to stress less. Going outside is a very practical way to reduce stress levels quickly!
Simply being in a natural setting can lift a child’s mood and increase feelings of happiness and pleasure. This can be especially beneficial for children who may be struggling with mental health issues or mood disorders.
Boosted cognitive functioning
Being in nature has been shown to improve cognitive functioning in children. This includes attention span, memory, and creativity. Personally, I definitely feel these things in myself when I spend time in nature. I see it in my kids too. There is something SO positive about fresh air, natural sounds, and limited distractions. Not to mention the magic of wildlife, foliage, and breathtaking landscapes!
Really practical here folks, but it’s true. Spending time in the sun can help children get the vitamin D their bodies need to promote healthy bone growth. Adults need vitamin D too, and it’s a common deficiency in the USA!
By providing children with opportunities to spend time in nature, parents and caregivers can help to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of their children AND themselves!