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Why Our Children Need To Get Outside And Engage With Nature

Source: The Guardian
17 August 2014

John Henley, of The Guardian, has written an informative article about Why Children Need to Get Outdoors and Engage with Nature.

“…Free and unstructured play in the outdoors boosts problem-solving skills, focus and self-discipline. Socially, it improves cooperation, flexibility, and self-awareness. Emotional benefits include reduced aggression and increased happiness. “Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play in the out-of-doors,” concluded one authoritative study published by the American Medical Association in 2005.

“Nature is a tool,” says Moss, “to get children to experience not just the wider world, but themselves.” So climbing a tree, he says, is about “learning how to take responsibility for yourself, and how – crucially – to measure risk for yourself. Falling out of a tree is a very good lesson in risk and reward.”

Ask anyone over 40 to recount their most treasured memories of childhood play, and few will be indoors. Fewer still will involve an adult. Independent play, outdoors and far from grown-up eyes, is what we remember. As things stand, today’s children will be unlikely to treasure memories like that: 21% of today’s kids regularly play outside, compared with 71% of their parents…”

To read this full article by The Guardian, please click here.