Nature pedagogy is a way of working with children and creating settings for care and education that embraces nature. It entails children being in outdoor environments while having purposeful learning objectives and being outside to have fun. It may also involve frequent visits to various natural setting to experience the different elements in nature.
Being in nature sets the stage for curious minds in a childcare centre to investigate and discover the world around them. Spending time outside helps children to develop a tendency to experiment and solve problems. Since nature pedagogy is authentic and multisensory, the kids develop essential skills like resilience, persistence, motivation, and creativity. Nature pedagogy links learning from inside the building, outside the school grounds, and beyond into the wider environment.
Benefits of Applying Nature Pedagogy
Being outside and surrounded by nature helps children in government-approved kindergarten to experience a free-flowing environment. The ever-changing setting stimulates all the senses. Outdoor learning has many benefits for your children.
1. Intellectual Benefits
The natural world is a vast and open-ended laboratory that provides countless opportunities for discovery, creativity, and problem-solving. While interacting with the natural environment, kindergarten children learn to experiment with and experience the world around them. In nature, the children are always thinking, questioning, and making hypotheses that help develop inquisitive minds. As children take risks and fail, they also gain confidence and resilience.
2. Emotional Benefits
Being outside feels good because the child can express themselves and interact in ways that are limited indoors. When the children are less restricted, it reduces tension, anxiety, and restlessness. Nature also enhances a sense of peace and nurturing qualities in children. Many active children slow down to dig a hole or watch a ladybug crawl along a twig.
3. Social Benefits
When children learn outdoors, there are many opportunities to interact with others. They can connect, share, and problem-solve with their peers. Children can also develop empathy while in the natural world. They will often reach out to a friend or classmate to work together or help each other.
4. Physical Benefits
The fresh air is refreshing and going outside offers endless opportunities for physical activity. This activity can help kids stay physically fit and healthy. Children often have a chance to participate in physical challenges when outdoors. For example, climbing a tree engages children in using different muscles and movements. When children in daycare are exposed to sunlight, the also absorbs vitamin D. Vitamin D contributes to a strong immune system, among other positive benefits.
Tips for Applying Nature Pedagogy
- Create spaces outdoors
- Time flows and moves in response to the child
- Time is subdivided for a variety of learning opportunities and play
- Resources are linked to specific, focused tasks
- Resources are more natural
- Adult role is to extend the learning of the child
- Adult role is mindful and responsive
- Work inside and outside to connect relevant learning
- Develop course material that is challenging and assists in cognitive development
- Involve integration of new forms of technology
- Learning is relevant, meaningful, personalized
Nature pedagogy is an excellent method for a successful learning approach. Nature pedagogy is very beneficial emotionally, physically, and intellectually for children. Learning in nature facilitates cooperation and comfort between the teacher and students, improving performance while heightening an appreciation for nature.