THE OUTDOOR RESET
BENEFITS OF NATURE
Just by spending time in nature, parents can help their kids to grow, learn, and have adventures. The first five years of a child's life are extremely important for a child's development. Getting children outside provides many benefits that impact physical and emotional health as well as academic success. Physically, getting outdoors promotes bone health and reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Emotionally, nature has limitless stress-reducing effects, and evening playing in the dirt has been shown to reduce anxiety.
OUR FAMILY PHILOSOPHY
Perhaps my favorite part about adventuring with our young daughter is the opportunity to foster her creativity and love of learning. Her mind is exploding with ideas every day. This makes it easy to turn playing in the sand into a fun way to practice shapes and letters. Collecting shells becomes a counting challenge and a family mountain trek an immersive science lesson. When in nature, there is no end to the possibilities where absolutely no worksheets are required to learn and grow!
POSITIVE EFFECTS OF GETTING OUTSIDE
Broadly speaking, a child's socioemotional development is often sacrificed in the pursuit of cognitive development (reading, writing, and arithmetic). Yet preschool years are when a child learns how to understand, regulate, and express their emotions, which will help them to develop healthy emotional competency. In this way, parents help to nature and shape their children's emotional selves.
CONNECTING TO NATURE
With so many screens in the household, today's children often have little opportunity to connect with the environment. Yet research shows that time outside stimulates creativity, problem solving, cognitive abilities, and social relationships. Time in nature also reduces stress and offers more opportunity for physical activity. Moreover, children who play in nature fosters compassion for the world.
Children are naturally curious and creative. And yet we send them to school to teach the creativity out of them! The work force of the future will need to be creative and flexible in their learning. They will not need to know the answer, rather, they will need to know the question to ask and where to search for the answer. Exploratory learning and outdoor education help to foster creativity in children that they will take with them into adulthood.