The Kidsafe Western Australia website cites research to support providing children with:
There is clear and consistent evidence about the many benefits for children and the wider community from exposure to and engagement with nature. Internationally, many public and private playground providers are moving to enhance playground provision by including planted landscapes and/or natural play elements into playground designs or by giving children opportunities to play in natural semi-wild spaces.
What the research says:
- Children who play regularly in natural settings are sick less often. Mud, sand, water, leaves, sticks, pine cones and gum nuts can help to stimulate children’s immune system as well as their imagination
- Children who spend more time outside tend to be more physically active and less likely to be overweight.
- Children who play in natural settings are more resistant to stress; have lower incidence of behavioural disorders, anxiety and depression; and have a higher measure of self-worth.
- Children who play in natural settings play in more diverse, imaginative and creative ways and show improved language and collaboration skills.
- Children who play in nature have more positive feelings about each other.
- Bullying behaviour is greatly reduced where children have access to diverse nature-based play environments.
- Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder are reduced after contact with nature.
Click here for References & Further reading
This video gives the background behind this emphasis on nature-based play for kids in Early Childhood. Our Pre-Primary team do a good job in that respect and we will be featuring what they have done soon on this blog. Enjoy. 🙂
Posted by D.Veary and J. Fraser