Why is nature-based childcare so important?
Childhood has changed a lot from when the majority of us were parents. Our favourite memories of childhood play probably include lots of sunshine, making mud pies and running through tall grass, but our kids are experiencing something quite different. For example, kids today are better able to identify Pokémon characters than common wildlife! Nature play is more important than ever before for our kids physical, social and mental development, as well as to foster a meaningful connection to our earth.
Beyond getting enough Vitamin D, kids need natural play to help with other parts of their physical development. Active children become active adults, which is incredibly important in the fight against obesity, as well as decreasing risks for many diseases such as heart conditions and diabetes. Additionally, the “hygiene hypothesis” tells us that early exposure to plants, animals and soil are important contributors to the development of strong immune systems. This means kids who play outside in the dirt are less likely to develop allergies and asthma.
Socially & Mentally
Getting kids outside important, but getting them to use their imagination and play in nature is even better. Children who play in areas with trees, fields and other natural structures show better concentration, more creative play and more inter-gender socialization than children who play on plastic and metal playgrounds. It also reduces the symptoms of ADHD in children!
for the future
There are many other benefits to nature-based play, however one of the most important ones is in creating a connection between the child and the earth. Children who have a strong connection to our planet are more likely to grow up to become adults with strong conservation values who are willing to fight for a sustainable, green future.