Why do children spend time in nature?
They may prefer to stick to their screens, but that’s why it’s important to be outdoors.
In the early 1980s, Edward o. Wilson, a harvard biologist, was called “ophibilia” : the theory of human instinct to attract the natural environment. However, many 21st century parents will question this theory, as they look at their children and make it clear that they like to sit on the couch in front of the screen.
At home, the fear of children spending too much time indoors has become so extreme that the crisis has a name: the natural deficit.
Although this may be rhetorical, it is clear that children spend far more time indoors than outside. The shift is largely due to technology: the average American child is said to spend four to seven minutes a day in unstructured games and seven hours a day in front of a screen.
Richard luwin, author of the last child in the woods: saving the child from a natural defect, interviewed a child who told him he liked playing indoors rather than outside “because it’s a story of all ways out.”
Another important factor is that more and more parents are worried about diseases and dangers outside – despite evidence to the contrary.
With the expansion and natural growth of the suburbs and suburbs, children seem less willing to spend time in the pasture, let alone jumping into a neighbor’s house or walking in the woods. By contrast, for children with multiple video gaming and social media accounts, indoor activities seem easier (no sunscreen required), safer and more social.
Why go out?
Recent research has revealed that time spent outdoors, including children and adults, is even necessary. Some people think it can be any outdoor environment. It is said to be a “green” environment – a tree and a leaf. Others still show that only one green scene can benefit your mental health. Despite these subtle differences, most studies show that children who work outdoors are smarter, happier, more focused and less anxious than those who stay indoors. Although it is not clear how cognitive function and mood improvements occur, we do know why nature is good for children.
It builds confidence. Compared with most indoor games, children’s play is far lower in nature, from the backyard to the park, to the local hiking trail or lake. They interact with outdoor activities indefinitely.
It promotes creativity and imagination. This unstructured play style also allows children to communicate meaningfully with their surroundings. They can think more freely, design their own activities, and approach the world in creative ways.
It teaches responsibility. If you abuse or don’t take care of your life, entrusting your child to take care of your environment means they will know what happens when you forget to water or pull flowers from the roots.
It provides different incentives. It’s certainly not as exciting as your son’s violent video game, but in fact, it activates more senses – you can see, hear, smell and touch the outdoors. “As young people live less and less in their natural environment, their feelings shrink,” rove warns. “this reduces the richness of human experience.”
Let the children move. Most ways of interacting with nature involve more exercise than sitting on the couch. Your child doesn’t need to join a local soccer team or ride a bicycle in the park – even walking can draw her blood. Exercise not only benefits children, but also seems to make them more targeted, especially for children with adhd.
It makes them think. Rove says nature creates a unique feeling for children that no other environment can provide. Every day, children ask about the earth and the life it supports in the backyard and in the park.
It can reduce stress and fatigue. According to the theory of attention recovery, urban environments require so-called direct attention, which forces us to ignore distractions and deplete our brains. In the natural environment, we practice the relaxed focus, called “soft charm”, to create a sense of pleasure rather than fatigue.
So while screen time is an easier and more popular option, it’s important to set aside time for outdoor games. For fun, inspire you and your children to do things in nature and see the idea of integrating your child into nature.