Sunday, 8 January 2017

Brain + Nature = Healthy - Bay Nature

Brain + Nature = Healthy - Bay Nature

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above

NATURE IS RESTORATIVE; that’s practically a truism to anyone who loves the outdoors. The effects start within minutes and can be long-lasting, even transformative, when nature works on us over the course of days or weeks. Scientific research now confirms what we already know: We become more relaxed, more open and friendly, and more creative, with better memory and concentration, after being in nature. Nature lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and bolsters our immune system. In fact, the benefits from contact with nature are now so well documented that they’re showing up on the health care industry’s agenda, and protecting nature can be seen as a public health strategy.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Experts call for official guidelines on child screen use | Society | The Guardian

Experts call for official guidelines on child screen use | Society | The Guardian

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above


"A group of leading authors, educationalists and child-development experts is calling on the government to introduce national guidelines on the use of screens, amid concern about the impact on children’s physical and mental health.... It calls for the development of kindergarten-style education for three- to seven-year-olds, with emphasis on social and emotional development and outdoor play; and says guidelines on screen-based technology for children up to 12 should be drawn up by recognised authorities on child health and development.......“If children are to develop the self-regulation and emotional resilience required to thrive in modern technological culture, they need unhurried engagement with caring adults and plenty of self-directed outdoor play, especially during their early years (0–7),”"

Saturday, 8 October 2016

A breath of fresh air: City of Grand Rapids aims to reconnect children with nature

A breath of fresh air: City of Grand Rapids aims to reconnect children with nature

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above


An annual event hosted by the mayor's youth council, KidsSpeak brings together local children to focus on a particular issue, ultimately creating written testimonies that are presented to the community....... Some nervous and some polished, these student presenters bravely expressed their thoughts about the city's natural areas, saying, "green spaces are not something you can brush aside" and "losing [green things] in the city means losing our compassion for the world around us, and ultimately, each other." Many expressed regret over the loss of their connection to nature and time spent in parks and playgrounds. "We don't play outside anymore," said one presenter. "We are disregarding natural spaces more and more."

One younger student expressed her views clearly and with conviction. "No playgrounds? Don't ever say no playgrounds to me," she said. "How would the city look like if there were no trees, flowers or wildlife?…It would look dark and gloomy." ..... "My hope for this city is that we not only maintain our parks, but proliferate them. Through that we can allow more children to have experiences of joy and compassion…If we understand the world around us. We can understand each other better,"

Vancouver-area children take learning to the forest | Metro News

Vancouver-area children take learning to the forest | Metro News

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above

"Learning outdoors helps children understand their "ability to navigate risks" and increases their physical capacity, said Edgar. It helps them "feel strong and powerful and offers them a positive social environment." Outdoor learning has also been associated with improved concentration and cognitive development.

Forest schools differ from more traditional outdoor education in that they offer repeated access to a natural space, centred around child-led, play-based learning, "observing the child's interests, documenting them, and then introducing items that foster interest," Edgar said."

Sunday, 2 October 2016

How to Raise an Environmentalist by Jill Suttie — YES! Magazine

How to Raise an Environmentalist by Jill Suttie — YES! Magazine

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above

But how do we encourage people—especially our kids—to care more and take action? Scientists are starting to uncover how to encourage that compassionate concern in children......... Research indicates that motivating people to care takes more than just reciting facts and making doomsday predictions. Instead, it requires promoting compassionate concern for our natural world, which comes from early contact with nature, empathy for our fellow creatures, and a sense of wonder and fascination. Specifically, scientists are starting to uncover how to encourage that compassionate concern in children, so that it will translate into pro-environmental behavior down the road—and this research comes not a moment too soon.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Cognitive Benefits of Kindergarten in the Forest - The Atlantic

The Cognitive Benefits of Kindergarten in the Forest - The Atlantic

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above


"Something like Forest Friday makes a big difference to some kids, according to Minnucci. Once, she had a boy in her classroom who had a “hard time in preschool,” and during the first few days of kindergarten, whenever he’d catch himself daydreaming, he’d push himself to make intense eye contact with her—a strategy his preschool teacher had taught him.

“He already knew he didn’t fit the mold,” Minnucci told me, but when they started their Forest Friday routine, “he did so well outside.” He began to love kindergarten, and his confidence surged; the forest had given him a place where he could succeed. He became so enthusiastic about school that the night before Forest Friday, his mother reported to Minnucci, he’d lay out all of his clothes."

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Today's four-year-olds often 'not physically ready' for school, experts warn | The Independent

Today's four-year-olds often 'not physically ready' for school, experts warn | The Independent

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above

“Children today are moving less, they’re developing less well, and they’re learning less; we need to do something drastic to make sure children now and in the future get the movement they need to develop properly physically, intellectually and emotionally."