What does the research show?
This page will continually be updated with new relevant research articles on the topics of nature, pediatrics, and occupational therapy
Do Experiences With Nature Promote Learning?
This article reviews many research articles on how nature impacts learning.
Large takeaway: Nature was the element that made all learning outcomes better. Nature had a greater impact on learning with children, more than a teacher, or the curriculum. Increased exposure to nature increased the positive learning outcomes, as well.
The impact of nature-based instruction was proven to be more impactful across a large array of things - contexts, environments, types of learners, etc. Nature does not discriminate!
Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health
A craft fully written piece on how nature benefits your health, how many minutes per week you need to spend in nature to achieve those benefits and why there is a huge shift in research to promote this phenomenon
Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain
"The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain," says Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. "And without play experience, those neurons aren't changed," he says.
The importance of outdoor play for young children's healthy development
"During outdoor play, children should have the opportunity to experiment moments of failure and success, learning by trial and error. If we try to prevent all risky situations, children will not know how to deal with unpredictable environments and will lack the necessary confidence to overcome challenges in an autonomous way.
“The research strongly suggests that time in nature can help many children learn to build confidence in themselves; reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, calm children, and help them focus,” Richard Louv, the author of Last Child in the Woods and co-founder of the Children and Nature Network, said in an email. “There are some indications that natural play spaces can reduce bullying. It can also be a buffer to child obesity and overweight, and offers other psychological and physical health benefits.”
Improved cognitive functioning, Louv added, has been associated with nature-based learning for years. For a recent example, he pointed to a 6-year study involving more than 900 public elementary schools in Massachusetts, in which researchers found a link “between the greenness of the school in the spring (when most Massachusetts students take the [state-wide] tests) and school-wide performance on both English and Math tests, even after adjustment for socioeconomic factors and urban residency.”