Nature is important to children’s development in every major way—intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically (Kellert, 2005).
Studies in the US show that centres that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of nature-based experiential education support significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math. Students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27% (American Institutes for Research, 2005). Read More
From a very early age, children are curious about the world around them. As they learn and grow, experiencing nature with all of their senses is a critical part of their development (NAAEE 2010). Exploration of the natural world allows young children to create a lasting attachment to the environment (NAAEE 2010) Read more
The research is quite clear that the best practice in early childhood education is to break away from passive instruction and allow for more play and investigation, and this kind of learning early in life builds skills and interests that serve children throughout their centre years, and later in life.Read more
Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our children’s health. Without direct experiences in nature, research findings suggest that children are missing opportunities to enhance their health and well-being, and to develop responsible long-term environmental behaviour.Read more
Research shows that by spending time in direct contact with the environment, children have the positive experiences that may precondition them to caring about the natural world later in life (Ewert, Place, & Sibthorp, 2005).
National Science Foundation has come out in favour of nature play in early childhood, as a means to increase later interest in and understanding of science. Since knowledge about any given topic accumulates over time, these early explorations of the environment become a foundation for later understanding of natural science, which may build better environmental decision makers for the future (Staempfli, 2008).Read More