Is spending more time in nature crucial for children’s mental health and development?

Spending time in nature is very important for cognitive development of children. Nature generates creativity and problem solving capabilities integral to executive functional development in kids. Children who play and spend time in nature have more attentiveness.

Nature helps kids to do better in school, in many surprising ways. Many parents probably understand that being outside in nature is essential for their children’s growth. But some parents also feel that motivating kids to get outside means less time on the books. And shorter time in studying books must mean lower academic success, right? On the basis of the evidence which comes from hundreds of studies, including experimental research that attention is very crucial for learning, but many kids have trouble paying focus in the classroom. This can be because of distractions, mental tiredness, or ADHD. Fortunately, spending time in nature—taking a walk in a park and even having a view of nature out of the window can improve kids’ attention power, which allow them to concentrate and do better in exams.

Just like adults, kids are less stressed when they have green spaces to relax. It strengthens their mental ability.

Even small doses of nature can have deep impact on children.

In the early 1980s, a Harvard University biologist named Edward O. Wilson gave a theory called biophilia. It interprets that human beings are instinctively drawn towards their natural environment. It’s good that these days many families are spending time together in the natural surroundings. There’s camping, beach vacations, hiking, and many more activities which can be done in the natural environment. It’s a blessing in disguise, if you live near the coastal area or a national park. Then it increases the possibility of these activities especially for the people who are more city bound. Spending time in nature strengthen children’s mental health later in life and make them confident adults, according to new researches.

A study which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research found an association between growing up with access to nature and better mental health as an adult. “What we found is that the childhood experience of green space can actually predict mental health in later life,” study co-author Mark Nieuwenhuijsen told Inverse. “The people that reported more exposure to nature actually have better mental health than those that don’t even after we adjust for exposure at the time of the interview, when they are adults.”

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