Nature & Its Incredible Importance to Children

Nature is incredibly beneficial to children.It’s amazing how much nature benefits children, particularly in their early years when they’re finding out about the world around them — and also learning about themselves. There have been many studies into the importance of nature, to youngsters in particular, and the studies all reach a similar conclusion — nature is incredibly important and beneficial to children. Today we’ll explore the topic and learn why children should regularly access the natural world.

Multiple studies show that nature is incredibly important and beneficial to children.

Nature’s Benefits for Children, Particularly in their Early Years

So, let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of nature to children, especially in their early years.

Time spent in nature, even for just a short time, has been shown to restore children’s cognitive abilities, improve attention spans and boost mental resilience. Studies even showed this to be the case when just a view of nature was available from the classroom. For this reason, experts have suggested that education settings will benefit children more if they are made into more ‘green’ environments in terms of there being flowers, grass and trees nearby.

Another study showed that test results from children were improved after they’d spent time in a woodland environment. Improvements were seen in both accuracy and speed of answers. That’s an amazing result, when you think about it!

Stress is reduced through exposure to a natural environment.Stress is also reduced on both a mental and physiological level through exposure to a natural environment. In studies, stress hormone and blood pressure levels both improved after exposure to nature, helping children both physically and emotionally. Nature seems to be a great way to recharge children’s batteries and lower stress and anxiety, as well as improving attention, engagement and academic performance. That includes improvements in important skills like reading, writing and mathematics.

In a further study from the U.S. in 2019, children growing up around more natural surroundings were — incredibly — found to have improved earnings potential. They even put a figure on it, being almost $30k more in earnings over the course of their lifetimes, simply because they grew up closer to nature.

The above is just the tip of the iceberg, though. The list of additional benefits to children, associated with being around nature, includes:

  • Improvements in general fitness, motor skills (both fine and gross) and coordination. Children are usually extremely active and engaged when out in nature and such exercise is very good for them.
  • A better quality of sleep after spending time out in nature.
  • Children discover new skills like leadership, problem-solving, teamwork and even risk-assessment.Improved social skills and even wider circles of friends due to the opportunities offered through outdoor play and adventure.
  • Playing out in and around nature will often also help children discover new skills like leadership, problem-solving, teamwork and even risk-assessment.
  • Creativity also gets a massive boost from nature as children experience different activities, objects, materials and opportunities to allow let their imaginations run riot.
  • Nature is also a feast for the senses, so sensory opportunities are enormous in such environments. These can teach children so much, but should obviously only be undertaken under close adult supervision.
  • Children’s feelings of empathy are also often enhanced through contact with nature. With all of the flora and fauna around, children will soon learn to care more about the wellbeing of other living things.
  • Nature can also encourage children to think on a much deeper level then their usual play allows. For example, they may start to think about about creation, life, their place in the world, their impact on the planet and ultimately about what’s really important.
  • Children who spend time in nature often live greener lifestyles.The new skills, knowledge and freedom that nature gives children also helps them to become more self-confident and independent individuals.
  • Children who spend time around nature also often go on to have greener lifestyles, to protect the planet that they’ve come to appreciate.
  • Many also go on to have lifelong appreciations for the Great Outdoors, its incredible array of environments, plants, trees, insects and animals.

Nature is a great gift and children should be given every opportunity to explore it, learn from it and enjoy everything it has to offer, both spiritually and physically.

Nature for Children in Streatham & Tooting

Little Cedars Nursery has some wonderful facilities for the children. These include an area where they can grow vegetables and also a small animal enclosure, each representing a great way to introduce children to nature on a smaller scale.

We’re also fortunate to be located just a stone’s throw away from large open spaces including Streatham Common, Tooting Common and Tooting Bec Common.

Even in built-up cities like London, immersion in nature is possible e.g. through parks & commons.Even in built-up cities like London, immersion in nature is possible via gardens, parks, commons or, if you’re lucky to have them near you, nature reserves and nature gardens. There are many of these dotted around London, including several not far from our Streatham nursery. So, whether they visit with parents, carers or as part of an outing organised by Little Cedars Nursery, children can benefit from everything that nature has to offer, virtually on their doorstep. With everything it has to offer them, nature is thoroughly recommended for children (and adults) of all ages.

Looking for Good Nurseries or Pre-schools in Streatham?

Little Cedars is a wonderful nursery & pre-school in Streatham, offering high quality childcare services near Furzedown, Tooting, Balham, Norbury & Colliers Wood

Little Cedars is a nursery & pre-school offering high quality childcare in Streatham, near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Common, Tooting Broadway, Furzedown, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood.Nature has so much to teach children.If you’re searching for the best nurseries or pre-schools in Streatham, do take a look at Little Cedars Nursery. We’d love to show you and your child around and offer a high quality childcare service for babies and children aged up to five. The nursery is very near Streatham Hill, Streatham Park, Streatham Common and Furzedown. It is also close to Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Common, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood, so may be convenient if you live or work in any of those locations.

Please choose your preferred contact method below to apply for a nursery place, book a tour or ask any questions — we’ll be very happy to help:

20 Amazing Baby Facts

When preparing articles for this website, we often spot interesting baby facts that may surprise people. So, today, we thought we’d share 20 or so of our most surprising discoveries with you.  Many are a reminder of just how amazing babies really are!

1. Twenty Babies Born A Minute

Did you know, one baby is born every three seconds. That’s 20 every minute, 1200 every hour and nearly 29,000 every single day.

2. Rapidly Expanding Brains

A baby’s brain will more than double in size in their first year. By the time they’re five, it will have tripled in size compared to its size at birth. The brain will not finish fully developing, however, until the individual reaches their twenties. The brain of newborn boys may also grow faster in the first 3 months than that of newborn girls. It’s something that’s keenly debated amongst experts, though.

Babies are born with 50% more bones than adults.3. Almost 50% More Bones Than Adults

Babies are born with more bones than adults. In time, some will harden and fuse together into just a single bone. Babies’ heads have soft spots when newly born, but which don’t last. That’s because various, separate, bones form their skull at birth. Initially these are connected by something called ‘noggin’, but later the separate skull bones fuse together. Babies are born with around 300 bones. By the time they’re adult’s they will have just 206.

4. But No Kneecaps

Babies do not have kneecaps when they’re born! Had you ever noticed? These finish appearing only once the baby reaches at least 6 months of age.

5. Amazing Taste

Babies have about 30,000 taste buds when they’re born. This is three times as many as adults. This is accounted for by the baby having taste buds not only on their tongue, but also on the sides and roof of their mouths as well as on the tonsils and back of the throat. Despite this, they apparently can’t taste salt until they’re about 4 months old.

Newborn babies are short sighted, only being able to properly focus on an area 8 to 14 inches in front of them6. Not So Hot on Eye Sight

Newborn babies are short sighted, only being able to properly focus on an area 8 to 14 inches in front of them — that’s perfect for seeing mum when being breastfed when you think about it. This area of focus will increase with time, of course, and babies also use their peripheral vision to make up for the lack of deeper focus.

7. Fur, Gills & a Tail — Yes, Really!

According to the experts, foetuses have gills, fur and even a tail during development. All three end up disappearing either before birth or, often in the case of fur, within the first few weeks after being born. The tail will have become the coccyx and the ‘gills’, which are temporary slits (pharyngeal arches) in the neck, will have developed into jaw and ear bones by the time the babies have been born.

8. No Tears for Weeks

Babies don’t cry tears until they’re about a month old. Until then, it’s rather like ‘dry’ crying.

Newborns hold their breath underwater and even adapt their heart rate and peripheral blood vessels while submerged.9. Natural Born Swimmers (… Kind of)

Newborns hold their breath underwater automatically and even adapt their heart rate and peripheral blood vessels when doing so. We strongly advise against you testing this, of course, but apparently it’s true. This natural ability does not last past the age of six months, however.

10. Baby Time in the Womb

Some interesting statistics suggest that, on average, female babies remain in the womb a day longer than males, white babies remain there 5 days longer than black babies and Indian babies remain there 6 days longer than white babies. If true and not simply a momentary glitch, the reasons for this are a bit of a mystery.

11. No Memory Before Three

People’s long-term memories go back no earlier, in general, than the age of three. This is believed to be because either memory function hasn’t developed sufficiently until then or because memory may be tied to the ability to understand language.

12. Recognising Day & Night

It can take up to 12 weeks before a baby will recognise the difference between day and night. Hence, the irregular sleep pattern that can last until they’re 5 or so months of age.

13. Eyes to the Right

85% of newborn babies prefer to face to the right when lying on their back. The preference only lasts a few months, but may also be an indicator of whether they’ll turn out to be right-handed or left-handed.

Breastfeeding babies for at least 2 months halves the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)14. Is Breast Really is Best?

As well as protecting against diseases, breastfeeding babies for at least 2 months halves the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) — that’s incredible when you think about it. It also gives greater protection from SIDS the longer you continue.

15. And Breast Milk Adapts Like Magic

Expressed breast milk for a baby should never exceed 4oz per bottle no matter what age they are. While formula-fed infants have bigger bottles as they grow older, babies fed via bottles containing expressed breast milk should stick to 4oz (1 to 1½oz per hour) maximum. That’s because the breast milk adapts itself to their precise needs as they grow; it constantly changes its composition as the child gets older and that includes calorie content contained per ounce. That’s clever!

Human babies are the only primate babies that smile at their mother or father.16. The Only Smiling Primate

Human babies are the only primate babies that smile at their mother or father. That’s quite remarkable, although we wonder whether other primates have a different way of smiling that we don’t recognise or understand.

17. Special Birth Months

According to statistics, the most common date of birth is the 9th of September. This is closely followed by the 19th, 12th and 17th of September, in that order. Interestingly, babies born around this time stand the best chance of being the smartest in the class and going on to have the greatest success in life. We considered whether this could be linked to school starting in September, making these children the oldest, most mature pupils in the class at a time when learning and development is so crucial.

Meanwhile, people born in October seem to live the longest, living on average 160 more days than those born in the Spring.

Scientific evidence also points to the month of birth affecting personality. For example, those born in the summer months having the most optimistic outlooks.

18. And the Not So Special

Meanwhile, December, January and February are the least common months for births, with December 25th and 26th seeing the fewest during the entire year.

Firstborn children are 1.7 times more likely to live to the age of one hundred.19. Outcomes of Being First Born

Children who are first-born are 1.7 times more likely than their younger siblings to live to the age of one hundred. Those with young mothers at birth stand the greatest chance of doing so. The first born is statistically more likely to have better mental health but have a slightly higher propensity to be overweight or have high blood pressure. Firstborns are often natural leaders but younger siblings may experience that simply as bossiness when growing up!

20. The Origins of ‘Infant’

The term ‘infant’ comes from the Latin ‘infans’, which means ‘unable to speak‘ … which makes sense, when you think about it.

We hope that you have found these surprising facts of interest and have perhaps learned something you didn’t know before — we certainly enjoyed putting them together for you.

High Quality Childcare in Streatham

Little Cedars Nursery is in Streatham, near Tooting, Furzedown & BalhamWe are Little Cedars, a pre-school and childcare nursery in Streatham. As well as being one of the best nurseries in the London SW16 area, we would also make a convenient choice for anyone requiring childcare nurseries, pre-schools or playgroups in/around Balham, Tooting, Norbury, Colliers Wood, Furzedown, Streatham Common, Streatham Hill and Streatham Park.  Why not book a visit, register for a nursery place, or ask any questions — our childcare professionals are here to help:

Apply for a Nursery Place Arrange a Visit or Email Us Here Telephone 020 8677 9675