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The benefits of engaging children with nature

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It’s estimated that kids these days spend more than 50% of their time indoors, choosing the likes of video games, television, tablet devices and cell phones to occupy their time rather than the joys to be found beyond their front door. We all know that time spent outdoors can boost the immune system and help to keep children healthy, but why else should you shun technology in favor of time spent amongst the elements?

Be prepared

You should always allow your child to take the lead when it comes to nature-based activities. The natural world will inspire and stimulate your child’s sense of creativity, and encourage them to discover a whole world of opportunities.However, the real treat is in learning to embrace those special, wild moments with your little one. Get ready for some of the best adventures of your life! Being prepared is important, of course. Be sure to gather the right equipment for spending more time outdoors, including wet-weather clothing, suitable footwear, and resources for activities, as well as compression gear, such as ankle socks, if you’re getting active for the first time in a while.Tommie Copper ankle socks for men are warm and supportive and will keep feet warm and dry whatever the conditions outside; the perfect accompaniment to a day’s adventure.

Nature is a playground

The natural world is a playground. Fresh air and exposure to the elements are fantastic for children’s health and wellbeing, as they get very wet and muddy without a care in the world. An expanse of the great outdoors stimulates movement and physical activity, as well as helping children to discover and push their limits. We cannot wrap our children in cotton wool. They must be allowed to take reasonable risks and discover their skills of balance, coordination, and interpretation. As they traverse the terrain children learn to adapt to their surroundings, and have more fun than they’ve had in a long time.

Nature inspires creativity and imagination

Nature equals a sense of freedom and opportunities for children to discover so much more about themselves. With this comes heightened creativity, and plenty of chances to become somebody else entirely. Think back to your childhood. Recall those lazy, hazy days spent playing pretend in the garden, and all the times you’d make rose petal perfume or ‘fish’ using sticks and plastic bags. Did you play tag and dart between trees pretending to be woodland creatures? Nature’s resources are plentiful, with so many objects and materials that become something else at the hands of a child. Whether they’re building a den, paddling in a stream or tracking dinosaurs, your children are busy creating a whole new world.

Nature builds confidence and life skills

When children are outdoors enjoying nature they have more time to be themselves, and to think for themselves, too. There’s typically less structure to those special moments, and little ones are naturally drawn towards their solutions to problems. This, in turn, inspires growing confidence and self-awareness, the realization of emotional boundaries, and improved communication and social skills. Children will also learn patience, develop their concentration and come to embrace teamwork, as nature helps them to take responsibility for themselves and keeping others, and wildlife, safe.

Nature is one big classroom

Engaging with nature helps children to access and exploit their fine motor and cognitive skills, and their problem-solving abilities. What’s more, identifying new species and navigating the landscape will stimulate your child’s passion for learning, and encourage them to push harder and further than ever before. That time spent outdoors can teach patterns, sizes, colors, and shapes, as well as focusing the attention and stimulating all kinds of emotional responses to learning. It’s the best classroom they’ll ever have.

Nature calms the soul and soothes the senses

Nature engages the senses, calms the spirit, and soothes the soul. Children often use the sights, sounds, smells, textures and even tastes of the landscape to reduce tension or seek comfort when things get too much. Nature provides time out for particularly wired children and those who struggle in ordinary social and classroom settings. Indeed, those precious hours spent surrounded by wildlife are proven to help mental wellbeing, which can lead to happier, well-adjusted young people.

Access to nature creates the conservationists of tomorrow

We cannot expect children to care about things they don’t fully understand. By encouraging your child to engage with nature you’ll provide a wealth of enriching experiences, and inspire him or her to truly care about the natural world around them. The adventurers, bug catchers and clamberers of today will become the environmentalists and conservationists of tomorrow if we’reonly able to instillan appreciation of wildlife through play and exploration during childhood.

Above all, exploring nature as a family is great fun. Few other activities can live up to the excitement of an adventure in the woods, the experience of tramping through a shallow river, or the discovery of something new hidden in the long grass of your garden. Your child’s wonder is infectious and will inspire you to seek comfort in your natural surroundings whenever the ‘adult’ world gets too much. Sure, time spent in nature can lead to happier, healthier children, but it can also do a heck of a lot for the grown-ups.

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