Here is the beautifully written introduction to a white paper, Young Children Learn Through Authentic Play in a Nature Explore Classroom. It contains the research into this subject by Dimensions Early Education Programs located in Lincoln, New England, USA. It is a fascinating, well documented study. At the bottom of the blog post is a link to the PDF.
"Once upon a time, in the not so distant past, many children left the adult world on a daily basis and entered an outdoor world filled with fantasy and improvisation. They played alone, in pairs, or in groups. Using sticks, branches, logs, sand, dirt, water and other natural materials they build forts, castles, houses, ships, rockets - some were large scale models while others were miniatures. As they ran, jumped, dug, climbed, threw, slid, twirled and whirled, their imaginations took them across the
Extensive research has documented the powerful role of play in children's development and the importance of getting children outdoors. Yet, in today's culture both play and time in nature have become endangered species. Richard Louv's well known book, Last Child in the Woods describes the growing phenomenon he labeled 'nature deficit disorder.'"
source: Young Children Learn Through Authentic Play in a Nature Explore Classroom
whitepaper based on Research Conducted at Dimensions Early Education Programs Lincoln New England USA
At Discovery Child Care, in Barrie Ontario, we believe in the importance of connecting children with nature. Contact Us to find out more about our eco-friendly child care facility and our nature programs.