Nature-based activities are a great way to promote holistic development among children as it creates enriching experiences and promotes environmental awareness. It also kindles the flames of curiosity, wonder, and imagination while nurturing a deep connection with nature.
The more children are immersed in nature, the more they grow in awe, wonder, and respect for the world, shaping them into compassionate stewards of the Earth.
At New Life Childcare in Bukit Panjang, we are passionate about instilling a sense of environmental care and promoting sustainable approaches. We offer enriching experiences through our blended learning approach, which incorporates nature into the classroom environment. We also utilise open-ended and authentic materials to enhance the learning process.
It is our hope that this article encourages you to do likewise and incorporate nature-based experiences into your child’s life! Here are some ways in which nature can be beneficial for your child:
1. Nature stimulates first-hand discovery
The chance to actively discover and enjoy hands-on experiences through nature-based learning is invaluable for many reasons. Observing plants and animals, as well as engaging in sensory activities such as feeling the texture of tree bark, are great ways for children to explore while encouraging them to ask questions and develop their critical thinking abilities.
2. Playing outdoors improves physical and mental well-being
Spending time in nature can encourage exercise and promote a healthy routine, while active outdoor play gives children plenty of space to run, jump and climb! This builds on their physical strength, and coordination, and boosts a child’s mental health. Spending time outdoors can significantly decrease stress and anxiety for your child as well.
Being in natural settings is like a reset button that allows children to reconnect with their inner selves.
3. Nature provides opportunities to introduce environmental learning topics
Practical experience is an effective way for children to learn about why it is important to preserve and protect nature. Experiencing nature firsthand is a golden opportunity to introduce fundamental ecological concepts like interdependence among living things and the crucial role played by biodiversity. Through engaging in eco-friendly activities, such as composting or recycling, children become active contributors to building a sustainable future.
4. Nature leaves room for the imagination
Nature-based learning enhances creativity and encourages imaginative play. For children, a stick can become a wand and a crown can be made from leaves with stones forming the foundation of their castle. Participating in activities like these enriches your children’s creativity while allowing them to connect more meaningfully with the environment.
5. Nature can spark a love of learning
Parents and educators can design outdoor spaces that promote exploration and play, such as sensory gardens and nature trails that provide opportunities for hands-on scientific inquiry. A balance between child-led exploration and guided activities is needed to both ensure safety and facilitate meaningful learning for children.
Unleashing Unlimited Potential
Adopting a nature-focused approach in childcare programmes and at home can significantly contribute to your children’s holistic development. Their curiosity and physical abilities can be cultivated when they are immersed in the natural world. This fosters environmental stewardship and encourages a lifelong connection with nature.