Why Kids Need To Spend Time With Nature
Though today's generation is engaged with technology, as parents it is important to indulge kids in outdoor environments.
Our life is surrounded by technology i.e., Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets that children use everywhere be it at home or at school. Most of the kids prefer to stay indoors playing games online, surfing on the net and also get exposed to content they are not matured enough to understand like pornography etc. Sadly, though most parents complain about their kids spending more time indoors with tech, they also consider their kids going out as a waste of time wherein in fact these activities are vital for the child’s development.
Kids not wanting to spend time outdoors has raised concerns and panic and this crisis has been referred to as 'Nature deficit disorder.' Children having this disorder have behavioural problems, parental fear, have health problems like obesity and eyesight issues.
Most people live in an apartment that has no green area for the family to dwell in, children can only access the community parks and public green areas for any outdoor activities. With the ongoing pandemic, families including kids are generally confined in their homes with the majority of them having no direct access to nature, affecting them both physiologically and psychologically.
It is observed that at later ages 20 per cent have a higher risk of anxiety disorder and 40% face mood disorders. Overusing devices also adversely affects the quantity and quality of sleep the child gets. Studies show that spending time with nature makes kids happier, attentive, less anxious, and they tend to be smarter than kids who stay indoors.
Here’s a detailed explanation of why kids should spend time in nature.
Playing indoors reduces confidence as the kids are not open to outside life. Letting your kids to move freely in nature will put them in situations to interact with outdoor environments. These movements may happen anywhere, in a park, in one's backyard or anywhere nearby. It allows the kid to choose his environment and spot for interaction helping him or her to become more confident.
Stimulates Creativity and Imagination
As outdoor settings help the kids to move freely, they get to interact with different means of nature allowing them to think, branch out and interpret in their own way. This helps in the development of their creativity and imagination. It allows the kids to see the world in their own new perspective. Amidst nature, children think, question, and interpret, subsequently helping develop analytical minds in them.
As parents, we should happily allow the kids to be with nature. Nature has a lot to teach. For example, when kids plant a sapling, they soon realise that if they don't water the plant it will die. This sense of responsibility of taking care of the plant and subsequently watching it grow, make them think and use it in other ways of life.
Physical Health Benefits
80 per cent of the children lack physical activity. Experts say that kids should play outdoors for at least 3 hours each day as exposure to sunlight helps in developing a strong immune system. Nature is healing in itself. Just a walk or a stroll, basically moving your body is enough for a child to be fit and active. Physical activities not only help them get fit and strong but will also increase their level of focus as they will observe things as they move.
Mental Health Benefits
When kids are indoors, we have a particular setting to look at. While playing video games kids have direct attention that is focusing on one thing at a time while in a natural setting the space is open. Kids can think freely and the brain is not pressurized to look at one object at a time. It is called effortless attention which reduces stress and fatigue among kids.
Contact with nature is a crucial part of sustainability education in early childhood. In order to raise future adults who are passionate about protecting the environment and preserving our planet, they must first develop a deep love for it. The only way to enable children to grow comfortable in nature is to open the door and let them explore the awe of the green natural world.
Though today's generation is engaged with technology, as parents it is important to indulge kids in outdoor environments. Indulging kids in walks, gardening, feeling the fragrance of flowers, going fishing, or merely watching the greens through the windows plays a vital role in their overall development.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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