Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What Nature Teaches Our Children

If you look around at what children are doing these days on a day to day basis, it is far different from what happened even a decade ago. Children are spending more time in classrooms, more time in front of screens and more time indoors. While to some this may seem the safer option, there is a whole lot that children can miss out on when they aren't out in nature.

Why Nature is So Important to Our Children

There are several reasons why children should be out in nature more; a lot of it has to do with building a strong and resilient child. Let's look at some of the reasons it is important to get your child outside.
  • In the Moment - Being outside can slow your mind down, it helps us to breathe and relax and just be in the moment. Learning this lesson early on can help keep that childlike wonder in your child's life.
  • Discovering the Senses - When a child is outside they are touching different objects, smelling the wonderful fresh smells, hearing the leaves rustle and the wind blow and feeling the sunshine on their face. Being outdoors can help them learn about their senses in the best way possible.
  • Learning to be out of Control - Your child learning that they are not always in control is a wonderful lesson and will help your child be more resilient as they grow up and face the world. In nature, you can't control if a bug crawls on you or if the sun shines too bright. When your child is indoors all the time they are in a controlled environment and too much of this can cause anxiety and fear when they leave that controlled environment.
  • Building Connections - When your child is outside with other children, connections happen. There are no faces in front of screens ignoring each other - you are outside learning and exploring together. As adults we understand how this works, it's like magic when all devices are left behind and you spend time face to face with another. Nature ramps this up as there are no rooms to escape too and no virtual realities to get lost in.
  • Learning to Meet Challenges Head On - When your child is outside, challenges are sure to be thrown at them. If there is a big rock in the way, how will they get to the other side? If the only way to get down is to get down a steep hill, how will they do that? Being outside presents obstacles that your child needs to navigate. Learning the skills to navigate these obstacles will help your child grow up to be a problem solver, which is never a bad thing.

At Montessori Children's Center, we believe being out in nature is an integral part of your child's learning experience. If you would like to learn more on how we incorporate nature into our program, contact our school today to schedule a tour.

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