For children, play is learning. There is no better space for kids to understand than the outdoors, and there is no better play resource than nature.
One of the best lessons children can be taught in their early years is to play outdoors. Children innately reap great benefits as they grow connections and appreciate the natural environment. In the structured, busy, and technologically-advanced world we live in, the role of outdoor play that we experienced as children is being forgotten.
Nature play is any activity that gets children active or thinking actively outdoors, with the end goal of building skills and the ability to play without the need for parental or adult control. This can be in any setting, so long as it’s outdoors, and it supports children being left to their own devices while caregivers supervise from a distance. However, adults can also actively participate in nature play through child-led play activities.
Nature play significantly improves all aspects of child development – physical, cognitive, social, and emotional.
Playing outdoors grows resilience, self-confidence, initiative, creativity, and more. It encourages the joy of movement; it nurtures wild imaginations, experimentation, friendships, social connections, and behavior.