Nature play is an activity that involves children and adults spending time in nature, exploring, and engaging in unstructured play. It is a great way to connect with the natural world and experience the benefits of being outdoors.
Nature play can take place in various environments, like parks, forests, beaches, or any other natural space. It can involve walking, hiking, climbing trees, playing in water, searching for insects or shells, and much more. The idea is to let the child’s curiosity and imagination guide their play, without too much adult intervention.
There are many benefits to nature play. Firstly, it helps children develop a love and appreciation for nature. It allows them to explore and learn about their environment, and develop a sense of wonder about the world around them. This can lead to a lifelong appreciation for nature and a desire to protect it.
Secondly, nature play is great for physical health. It allows children to be active, run around, and burn off energy. It also helps them develop balance, coordination, and agility as they navigate uneven terrain, climb trees, and move through various obstacles.
Nature play is great for mental health. Research has shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of attention deficit disorder. It also enhances creativity, imagination, and cognitive function. Bienenstock’s nature play workshops allow teachers, parents, and kids to learn about nature and how to use loose parts to explore its many wonders.
Nature play is easy to incorporate into your family’s routine. You can make it a regular outing to go to a natural playground or nature reserve, go on hikes or nature walks, or even just spend an afternoon in your backyard or nearby green space.