Do we ever wonder why it is important for children to play outdoors?
After all, children engaging in play means fewer hours of studying, which impacts academic success. Right?
Research suggests that spending time with nature and in active play makes a child healthy and improves her learning abilities.
Let’s know more about how an active outdoor environment can promote the growth of a child
When children play in a park, they interact with other living species – plants, birds, caterpillars, ladybirds, flowers and so on. This interaction helps children develop a broader perspective on life. They learn how other species interact with their environment. This opens doors for children to explore how different elements of nature function and enables them to develop positive connections with plants and animals. This makes them develop more empathy towards living beings.
Imagine coming home after dealing with tight deadlines and difficult clients at work. What do you think will help you relax?
Sitting in a garden with the ambient music of nature and a cup of coffee will perhaps be your first choice. Clearly, nature is an immediate stress-buster. This is also why so many families like to take a vacation in the mountains – it is simply liberating.
Similarly, children are relaxed and happy when they have the liberty to move around in green spaces, every now and then. When students are happy and relaxed, they learn with a clear mind and have an engaged learning experience. This improves memory retention and leads to an improved conceptual understanding of subjects.
Unlike a field with swings and chalked out courts, open green space is more unstructured. When children play with sticks, mud, and stones, they explore their environment and come up with creative games, which improves their creativity and problem solving skills. This leads to greater collaboration and bonding amongst peers.
Richard Louv is a world-renowned journalist who specialises in writing about children and their environment. One of his most famous books is “The Last Child in the Woods.” In one of his articles, he wrote on the importance of nature in early childhood education. He said, “The more high-tech schools become, the more they need nature.” He stresses the importance of outdoor classroom sessions that help with higher academic success, especially in subjects like mathematics and language arts.
Research on nature and learning shows that the environment has restorative effects on a child’s attention. The new-age learning methods that involve using technology to teach young children lead to dwindling focus. So, it is important to let children take short breaks in between their classes. These breaks, when taken in green spaces, lead to a child’s cognitive development.
Moreover, when they are left free to observe the ever-changing environment, children become more curious; they ask more observation-based questions, which leads to a deeper understanding of their surroundings.
Choose a pre-school with nature at the core of its curriculum
In a nutshell, nature is a key educator in a child’s early years. Schools with green spaces and tree cover are more likely to add to the psychological development of a child.
Exposing a child to an outdoor environment gives them a chance to explore their creativity and develop a natural love for learning.
At Beansprouts, our one-acre campus with outdoor amphitheaters, natural sandpits, and cascading green terraces ensures that nature remains at the core of our curriculum.
We have successfully integrated nature as a third educator, blurring the line between indoor and outdoor spaces. Our teachers lay emphasis on inquiry-based learning through outdoor playing. Visit our preschool to see our unstructured natural areas and explore how it promotes the holistic development of our little ones