What Are The Benefits Of Nature Play Learning?
Playing is not only a great way for children to have fun and socialise, but it’s also a crucial part of how they learn about the world around them. When it comes to understanding more about wildlife and the environment, outdoor activities are a fantastic choice, but there are also many additional benefits of nature play.
In this fast-paced technology-led world that we live in, being able to spend time outside is a great way to ditch the screens and discover more about nature. Here at Journey, we believe that nature play should form a critical part of your child’s many learning environments, which is why we encourage all of our little stars to get outside as part of their journey.
What is nature play learning?
Before we start looking at the benefits of nature play, we thought we should first look at what it is exactly. Nature play is an all-encompassing phrase, but at its core, it is about letting your child explore the outdoor world in an unstructured and independent way.
While this does not mean you should let your child roam free in the wilderness, it is about letting them take the lead in their outdoor play activities. It is suitable for children of all ages, and being in nature in all seasons helps provide them with an array of sensory-rich information. This helps to spark their creativity and imagination, letting them learn as they have fun.
Whether it is playing games, exploring woodland, or simply going for a walk and talking about what you see, nature play can offer a whole array of experiences that your loved one cannot get from being indoors.
Check out this article to learn about Nature Play Ideas And Activities For Children.
What are the benefits of nature play?
Getting outside and experiencing those natural environments surrounding us can provide a huge array of benefits for our children. These first-hand experiences with nature and wildlife offer endless opportunities to maximise your child’s learning and knowledge, including:
1. Learn while having fun
Being outside in all weather conditions is a fantastic sensory experience for your children. With so much to see and explore, it can be incredibly stimulating and fun, helping to ensure that your loved one will be learning and gaining experience without it even feeling like it.
2. Develop their fine motor skills
Another major benefit of nature play is that it can help to develop their motor skills. Whether it is crawling around your back garden or walking through the local park, your child can explore beyond the boundaries of your home.
All of that running, jumping, and picking up leaves and sticks helps them to enhance their coordination as they grow.
3. Encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle
Childhood obesity in Australia is on the rise, with increased time spent in front of screens and reduced physical activity being the primary drivers. Getting outside encourages children to get active, run around and burn some energy.
The more time that your child spends outside, the more it encourages them to develop and form healthy habits that they will carry with them through life.
4. Sleep better
Not only does regular outdoor play help to encourage a healthy lifestyle, but it can also boost how your child sleeps at night. Research has shown that fresh air and sunshine can lead to deeper, more regenerative sleep.
5. Develop a social conscience
Looking after the world that we live in is becoming incredibly more important. Getting outside and spending time in nature at a young age helps your child to become aware of the environment and its importance.
Those children who develop an appreciation of the natural world at a young age are more likely to become socially conscious and caring.
6. Boost social skills
One of the biggest benefits of nature play is that it can enhance your child’s social skills. Outdoor play is a great opportunity to play games with other children, helping them to chat and make new friends.
Top tips for parents
While there can be no denying the many benefits that come from nature play, we know how tough it can be to know where to start. That is why we have taken a closer look at some top tips to help parents incorporate the most effective outdoor activities with their loved ones.
Find the right environment
One of the most important tips to keep in mind is to choose the right kind of outdoor environment. You should opt for wild landscapes as often as possible, as this will let them explore new things such as rocks, trees, bugs, flowers and mud.
Let them lead
While you want your child to be safe, you should encourage them to initiate and guide the activities. The best types of nature play come from their young and inquisitive minds, so try to inspire them to explore and ask questions.
Play as a family
Letting your child explore on their own should be encouraged, but don’t forget to try some family activities too. Whether it’s playing games together, going for a walk, or running a show and tell opportunity, this is a great way to boost their knowledge and social skills.
If you’re stuck for ideas on what you and your loved ones could play, we have taken a look at five nature-based learning ideas you could incorporate.
Ready to start your child’s journey?
Every parent wants to give their child the very best start to their education, and here at Journey, our experienced team is here to support your loved ones on the big adventure of life! We strongly believe in play-based learning, encouraging every child in our care to explore and embrace their naturally inquisitive nature.
We know that our little explorers thrive best when they are in classrooms with children of a similar age and development. That is why our learning environments are designed to bring out the best in each child, helping them to start their life journey in the best possible way.