By: Lisa Murphy, Pre-Kindergarten 2 Teacher
Playing and discovering nature benefit the children intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically, and discover activities for fostering their development. The natural world is a giant, open-ended laboratory. Children are innate scientists and love to experience the sight, scents, sounds and textures of the outdoors. Nature provides countless opportunities for discovery, creativity, problem-solving and STEM education. Interacting with natural environments allows children to learn by doing experiment with ideas. In nature, children think, question, and make hypothesis-thereby developing inquisitive minds. Whether they’re judging the distance between two rocks before jumping or considering where insects go for the winter, children are constantly thinking when they’re in nature. These experiences offer real, authentic learning like nothing else can. As children take risks, try and fail, and try again, they gain resilience and confidence.
Being outside feels good. Children are free to explore, move about and make noise-all which are delightful forms of self-expression that are restricted indoors. In nature, the children can run, jump, skip, climb, roll and shout which relaxes and reduces tension, anxiety and restlessness. The great outdoors does us all some good! Happy trails to you!