Think Outside by correspondent DeAnne Musolf, in February 23, 2014 Mercury News, cites research that outdoor play should take high priority. “Outdoor spaces give kids more spaces for creative play. Indoor there are only a finite number of things a kid can do. But, outdoors, they’re not going to do something rote — they are going to want to problem-solve: gather materials for a fort, play hide-and-seek, explore new spaces.” Joanne Finn school psychologist
A growing body of research, suggests that outdoor play offers such a positive bump in brain power, it should perhaps be a priority. A 2012 study of 8,950 children, led by Pooja Tandan at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute showed that nearly half of all preschoolers weren’t taken outside to play every day. “Outdoor play is beneficial for motor development, vision, cognition, Vitamin D levels and mental health. … Studies have shown that as little as a 20-minute walk in nature will boost your attention span. ..
One point that I totally agreed with is the value of walking in nature. One school of thought about why nature has such an effect is the attention restoration theory.
Another theory, notes Honos-Webb, is that biophilia. Our brains evolved in nature. Now that we have the IPads, nature has a calming effect. MRI tests confirm that nature produces chemical shifts in the brain.
Let’s make sure our kids are getting outdoors. Even if our kids “kick and scream” when we take them off of the computer or IPad to go outside, know with confidence that you are helping your kids be better performers.
Here is the entire article link: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-living/ci_25181071/does-outdoor-play-make-kids-smarter
How does nature impact you? Can you take the time to make sure nature is part of your family life? My daughter used to hate hiking when she was young. We had her be the hiking tour guide which gave her an important role which she love. As a young adult, she enjoys hiking.
2014 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.