Why Nature Connection Matters
The late Yale Ecologist Dr. Stephen Kellert concluded that “findings in health care, education, work, recreation and community indicate that contact with nature is vital to child development.” Nature, Kellert’s research demonstrated, teaches children to cope and problem-solve.
Nature connection is the idea that human beings are a part of nature. It means that spending time in nature is so beneficial that it is actually an essential part of what makes children grow up to be happy healthy humans.
We see positive outcomes for nature connecting kids in the following areas:
1) Individual (self-confidence, love of learning),
2) Interpersonal (respect for others and conflict resolution abilities),
3) Physical (physical confidence and agility), and
4) Environmental (respect for the natural world).
Put another way:
1) Grow curiosity
2) Build confidence and respect
3) Cultivate strength and balance
4) Care for the natural world
A Fourth Grader's Reflection
“I look out and see the ocean, the town, the world. This is one place where I can just be who I am: I can run, jump, sit, hide and explore. I am amazed by this place and wonder what extraordinary animals live here.”
A few other resources to help us learn about the benefits of nature connection:
Benefits for Health & Wellness
Benefits for Academic Outcomes
Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods
A short video called "The Nature Fix"
And, just for fun, here's a humorous take on the benefits of nature connection: