Nature: The Ultimate Babysitter - Why Your Kids Need More Time Outside

/ Nature: The Ultimate Babysitter - Why Your Kids Need More Time Outside

Getting kids to spend more time outside and in nature is crucial for your Kubs’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and let’s be honest, we parents also need a timeout now and again.

With the rise of technology and indoor entertainment, children are spending less time outside, which can negatively impact their development.

Spending time in nature has numerous benefits for kids. It can improve their mood, reduce stress and anxiety, improve their immune systems, and increase their physical activity levels. Additionally, being in nature can help children develop their creativity, problem-solving skills, and ability to work in teams. It's no wonder that many researchers and experts are advocating for children to spend more time outside. As the Child Mind Institute notes, "There's a lot less structure than most types of indoor play and they can choose how they interact with the nature around them."

Overall, the importance of getting kids to spend more time in nature cannot be overstated. From improving their health to fostering their creativity, there are countless benefits. As parents and caregivers, it's important to prioritize outdoor play and encourage children to explore the natural world around them.


Why Trees Are Better Than TV

When it comes to kids and their free time, it's no secret that screens often dominate. But what if there was a better alternative? What if there was something that could boost their physical health, spark their imagination, and even provide some much-needed vitamin D? Enter trees.


Physical Health Boosts

While TV and video games might keep kids sedentary, spending time outside among the trees can actually boost their physical health. Climbing trees, running around, and playing games all require movement and can help kids stay active. Plus, being outside in nature can help improve their balance, coordination, and overall fitness.


Imagination Station: The Great Outdoors

TV shows and video games might be entertaining, but they don't exactly encourage creativity. Trees, on the other hand, provide the perfect backdrop for imaginative play. Kids can pretend to be explorers, build forts, or even create their own nature-inspired artwork. The possibilities are endless, and the only limit is their own imagination.


Vitamin D and the Sunshine Symphony

Spending time outside among the trees also comes with an added bonus: vitamin D. Sunlight is one of the best sources of this essential nutrient, and getting enough vitamin D is crucial for healthy bones and teeth. Plus, being outside in the sunshine can help boost mood and reduce stress. So, instead of turning on the TV, encourage kids to step outside and soak up some of that sunshine symphony.

In conclusion, while screens might be the easy option, trees offer a multitude of benefits that can't be replicated by a TV or video game. From physical health boosts to imaginative play to vitamin D, spending time outside among the trees is the perfect way for kids to stay healthy, happy, and entertained.


Digital Detox: Unplugging the Little Humans

In today's world, it seems like everyone is glued to their screens. From smartphones to tablets, laptops to TVs, digital devices are everywhere. Unfortunately, this constant exposure to screens can be harmful to children's health and development. That's why it's important to encourage kids to unplug and spend more time in nature.


Screen Time Shenanigans

It's no secret that too much screen time can have negative effects on children. Studies have shown that excessive screen time can lead to a variety of problems, including behavioral issues, sleep disturbances, and poor academic performance. By taking a break from screens and spending time in nature, kids can reap a variety of benefits.


Nature: The Original Social Network

Nature is the ultimate playground. It provides endless opportunities for kids to explore, learn, and grow. Whether it's climbing trees, building forts, or searching for bugs, spending time in nature is a great way for kids to develop their creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills. Plus, nature is the original social network. When kids play outside, they have the chance to interact with other children, make new friends, and develop important social skills.

So, if you want to help your little ones unplug and reap the benefits of spending time in nature, consider taking them on a hike, visiting a local park, or simply spending time in your own backyard. Your kids will thank you for it, and you'll be doing your part to help them develop into healthy, well-rounded individuals.


Wild Child: Building Resilience and Independence

Children who spend time in nature are more likely to develop resilience, independence, and self-confidence. Being outside encourages kids to take risks, explore, and problem-solve. Here are some ways that outdoor play can help kids build resilience and independence.


Risky Business: Safe Adventuring

While parents may worry about their children taking risks, it's important to remember that risk-taking is a natural part of childhood development. Outdoor play provides opportunities for kids to take safe risks, such as climbing trees or exploring new environments. These experiences help kids learn to assess risk and make decisions for themselves.

Of course, safety should always be a top priority. Parents can help their children learn to take safe risks by setting age-appropriate boundaries and rules. For example, younger children may need to stay within sight of their parents, while older children may be able to explore further on their own.


Solo Play: Fostering Self-Reliance

Spending time in nature can also help children develop self-reliance and independence. Outdoor play provides opportunities for children to engage in solo play, which encourages creativity and problem-solving. When children play alone, they learn to rely on themselves to come up with solutions to problems and to entertain themselves.

Parents can encourage solo play by providing their children with open-ended toys and materials, such as sticks, rocks, and leaves. They can also give their children space and time to play on their own, without constant supervision or direction.

Overall, spending time in nature can help children build important life skills, such as resilience, independence, and self-confidence. By encouraging safe risk-taking and solo play, parents can help their children develop these skills while having fun and enjoying the great outdoors.


Eco-Warriors in Training

Kids are the future, and when it comes to saving the planet, they are our best hope. Teaching children about the importance of nature conservation and sustainability from an early age can help them become eco-warriors in training. Here are a few ways to get started:


Conservation Conversations

Start by having conservation conversations with kids. Talk to them about the importance of protecting the environment and preserving natural resources. Explain how human activities can have a negative impact on the environment, and what we can do to minimize that impact. Encourage them to ask questions and express their opinions.


Flora and Fauna Fan Club

Kids love animals and plants, so why not encourage them to start a flora and fauna fan club? Get them interested in the natural world by taking them on nature walks, visiting botanical gardens, and observing wildlife in their natural habitats. Teach them about the different species of plants and animals, and how they all play a vital role in the ecosystem.

To help get kids started, here are a few fun activities to try:

  • Create a nature scavenger hunt, where kids can search for different types of plants, animals, and natural features.
  • Start a nature journal, where kids can document their observations and draw pictures of the plants and animals they see.
  • Plant a garden, and teach kids about the importance of soil health, composting, and sustainable gardening practices.

By fostering a love for nature and teaching kids about the importance of conservation, we can help create a new generation of eco-warriors who are passionate about protecting the planet for future generations.


The Social Butterfly Effect

When kids spend more time in nature, they tend to develop better social skills. This is known as the "Social Butterfly Effect." Here are two ways that spending time in nature can improve a child's social skills:


Teamwork in the Treehouse

Kids who spend time in nature often build forts, treehouses, and other structures. These projects require teamwork and cooperation. Children who work together to build a fort or treehouse learn how to communicate effectively, share ideas, and compromise. They also learn how to resolve conflicts and work towards a common goal.


Empathy Among the Leaves

Spending time in nature can also help children develop empathy. When kids are surrounded by nature, they learn to appreciate the beauty and complexity of the natural world. This can lead to a greater sense of empathy towards animals and other living things. Children who spend time in nature are more likely to develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment and a desire to protect it.

In conclusion, spending time in nature can have a positive impact on a child's social skills. By building forts, treehouses, and other structures, kids learn how to work together and communicate effectively. They also develop a greater sense of empathy towards the natural world.


School of Rocks: Educational Benefits

Getting kids to spend more time in nature isn't just good for their physical health, it's also great for their intellectual development. In fact, studies have shown that kids who spend time in nature are more likely to perform better in school and develop a lifelong love of learning. Here are just a few of the educational benefits of getting kids outside:


Science in Action

Nature is the perfect classroom for budding scientists. Kids can observe the world around them, make predictions, and test their hypotheses. Whether they're studying the life cycle of a butterfly, the behavior of ants, or the properties of rocks, kids can learn about science in a way that is hands-on and engaging.

One study found that kids who participated in outdoor science programs scored higher on science tests than kids who only learned about science in the classroom. Another study found that kids who spent time in nature were more likely to pursue careers in science and engineering.


History in the Field

Nature is also a great place to learn about history. Kids can explore historic sites, such as battlefields or ancient ruins, and learn about the people and events that shaped our world. They can also learn about the natural history of the world, such as the formation of mountains or the evolution of plants and animals.

By learning about history in the field, kids can develop a deeper understanding of the past and how it has shaped the present. They can also learn about different cultures and ways of life, which can help them develop empathy and understanding for people who are different from themselves.

In conclusion, getting kids to spend more time in nature is not only good for their physical health, but also for their intellectual development. By providing kids with opportunities to learn about science and history in the great outdoors, we can help them develop a lifelong love of learning and a deeper appreciation for the natural world.


The Zen Den: Mental Health and Nature

Kids today are under more stress than ever before. With the constant pressure to perform well in school, sports, and extracurricular activities, it's no wonder that many children are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. This is where the Zen Den comes in.


Stress Reduction Recess

The Zen Den is a designated space in schools and other institutions where kids can go to relax and unwind. It's a place where they can escape the pressures of daily life and just be themselves. One of the key features of the Zen Den is its emphasis on nature. Research has shown that spending time in nature can have a positive impact on mental health, reducing stress and anxiety levels.


Attention Restoration Theory Playground

The Zen Den is also based on the principles of Attention Restoration Theory (ART). This theory suggests that spending time in natural environments can help restore our ability to focus and pay attention. In today's world, where kids are constantly bombarded with distractions from technology and social media, the Zen Den provides a much-needed respite from the chaos.

The Zen Den is a great way to promote mental health and wellbeing in kids. By providing a space where they can relax and reconnect with nature, we can help them develop the skills they need to cope with the stresses of daily life. So if you're looking for a way to help your kids unwind and de-stress, consider setting up a Zen Den in your home or school.

Back to the Journal