The Importance of Nature for Young Children

"With children's access to the outdoors and the natural world becoming increasingly limited or nonexistent, child care, kindergarten and schools, where children spend 40 to 50 hours per week, may be mankind's last opportunity to reconnect children with the natural world and create a future generation that values and preserves nature. Many authorities believe the window of opportunity for the formation of bonding with and positive attitudes towards the natural environment develops sometime during early and middle childhood and requires regular interaction with nearby nature. Some authorities believe that if children don't develop a sense of respect and caring for the natural environment during their first few years, they are at risk for never developing such attitudes."

This is an extract from our most recent article, "Young Children's Relationship with Nature: Its Importance to Children's Development & the Earth's Future", written by our CEO, Randy White. The article was thoroughly researched based upon the latest research findings and early childhood professionals' writings from throughout the world. Every early childhood professional should read this article to better understand not only the importance of regular contact with nature to children's development, but the important role that early child care and education facilities can play in giving children places where they "can reclaim the magic that is their birthright, the ability to grow and learn to their fullest in their unique experiential way through the joy of exploration and discovery in the natural world." Click here to read article.