Get The Kids Outside
There are two things I don't compromise on. One - my daughter's sleep. Two - getting outside everyday.single.day.
In his book "Last Child in the Woods" Richard Louv talks a lot about a nature deficit disorder.
He writes that while childhood obesity is on the rise, so is children's participation in organized sports!
What this tells us that movement alone isn't the end all be all when it comes to health - the type of movement (varried, spontaneous and unstructured), and the location (uneven terrain, among natural ecosystems), is also very important.
The rate at which children are being diagnosed with depression and attention deficit disorder has almost doubled in five years, with the steepest increase being among PRE SCHOOLERS 😭
Compared to children who play on play structures, children who play for the same amount of time in a natural environment with trees, rocks and uneven ground are more active and test better for motor fitness, including balance and agility.
Unstructured time spent playing in nature is crucial to children's emotional and physical health. Breathing in, playing in and digging into the earth increases the gut's healthy microbiome and is linked to healthier immune systems. For example, Bavarian farm children who spent time in and around the stables had drastically lower rates of asthma and allergies throughout their lives than their neighbours who did not.
And in "The Human Relationship with Nature" Peter Kahn points to over 100 studies that show how, within minutes of being in nature, stress levels are reduced at a cellular level. Minutes!
Children are sensory beings, and nature is a primary source of sensory stimulation. We cannot, and should not, separate the child from the natural world. They are extrinsically linked.
Nature alone helps to offset life's stressful events, of which a young child's life is full of. When it comes to the holistic care of our children, nature might indeed be the best kind of nurture.
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