Nature and Children

Nothing wakes the brain the way being in the outdoors does.

Nature teaches us how to be mindful by influencing all senses. When you are outside, you feel the wind and the temperature, you hear the birds and people, you smell the leaves and grass, you see the colors and movements, you can even taste things like snow or rain. Now think about being out in the garden. All of this sensory information coming in from your environment organizes your system and brings you into a calmer state. You are focused on your work and enjoying the deep input you feel in your joints as you press your shovel into the dirt. The sun on your back feels warm and keeps you relaxed. A soft breeze clears your head when it reaches your face. All other thoughts are muted. You are mindful and stress free.

When you add animals to this full body sensory experience, you are adding to the depth of the amount of input being received. Gentle animals, like goats and chickens, can teach children how to interact with another living being. If a child hurts an animal, it will run or shy away in fear. If a child is gentle and kind, the animal will respond with attention and affection. An animal is not able to use words and is only able to use body language and sounds. A child that can learn to read the non-verbal language of an animal, they will be able to carry over that learning experience to people.

Being in the outdoors and with animals can help children learn important skills and develop the neuropathways to feel comfortable in their own skin. This feeling of contentment improves relationships, behavior, and confidence. kidsView offers kids the opportunity to spend time outdoors with the resident animals at each visit should they chose to do so. There are an array of animals present on-sight available to pet and spend time with.

Learn more about the importance of kids spending free time outside from Angela Hanscom in her book Balanced and Barefoot.

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