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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Learning Outcomes from Nature - Exploring Nature to Boost Curiosity and Enthusiasm in Children

By Andrew Loh

“Sometimes, questions are more important than answers” – Nancy Willard

Young children are extremely curious and keen to learn things that are new and strange to them. Children care capable of learning a lot from the world around them. They know how to link nature to their learning power. Nature also acts as a great booster to enhance advanced learning in children. Nature is also a wonderful catalyst that can spur enhancement of many learning skills like cognition, imagination, visualization, social and critical thinking. For example, children are mesmerized by a bird's innate ability to fly and a mother bird's concern for her younglings by feeding worms right in their mouths. They may wonder why a snail crawls from one place to the other in eternity while humans can cover the same distance within seconds.

Nature can be a great teacher

Nature and countless things that occur within the domain of nature can teach your children a number of skills that make them smarter and intelligent. By studying nature, children often come out of their cocooned shell and start learning for their own benefits. Here are some reasons why teachers and parents should use nature as an effective tool to boost learning in children:

1) Nature is ubiquitous and it is everywhere around us. An academician named Raffon (2000) wrote a wonderful article on many advantages of using nature as a tool to boost learning among children. Nature is free to us as it occurs everywhere. Nature can come in many forms as a simple backyard garden or as desert, jungle, plains or even shrub land. All these settings have their own ecosystems that can help children some cues to develop their curiosity and enthusiasm to start learning on their own. Outdoors can be great playgrounds for children learn with their hands on so many things.

2) Nature is free and it offers a no-cost setting for learning. Another academician named Blair wrote superb article titled “The child in the garden: an evaluative review of the benefits of school gardening.” Parents and teachers can use the nature as a free tool. It provides a hundred percent, low cost setting for effective teaching and learning. A simple walk in the public garden can teach both parents and their children a number of things.

3) Nature can also boost academic achievement as it was pointed out by the State Education and Environment Roundtable of California. Nature offers an opportunity to learn in an inquiry based way. This learning approach is very powerful as it can enhance and boost cognition and critical thinking in children.

4) Barros and his colleagues (School recess and group classroom behavior, 2009) observed that nature can be an effective system to improve children behavior and mannerism. Students conducted by them indicated that those children who learned something from nature tend not to misbehave with others when compared to ones that do not interact with nature.

5) Nature is a great motivator and children are more likely to motivated better when they learn something from nature. Dyment (2005) discussed in detail about innumerable benefits of nature in learning process. When children learn among nature, they are energized to find out more and use their mind to learn why things happen in a particular way.

6) Outdoor learning in nature can enhance the skill of communication. This was discussed in detail by the American Institute of Research (2005). Students who learn outdoors and among nature are known to be great communicators in their adulthood. Project and issue based activities are common while learning from nature and this might enhance the power of communication among children.

7) According to Burdette and colleagues (2005), children can enhance their cooperation skills when they learn from nature in smaller groups. As children play as group among natural settings, they are more likely to improve their cooperation skills apart from honing leadership qualities.

8) A healthy body and sound mind is a big and critical necessity for effective learning. The power of curiosity and enthusiasm come naturally when children are capable of learning with good health and sound mind. Nature can help improve good health among children when they play and learn from nature. They also feel happier and relaxed when they learn many things from nature; this was confirmed by authors like McCurdy and his colleagues (2010).

However, effective learning might not occur unless a child develops enough curiosity levels and enthusiasm for learning. Nature could act as a great tool to improve and boost the power of curiosity and enthusiasm. In other words, nature is a double edged tool that can boost many skills in one single attempt. Continue to read Exploring Nature to Boost Curiosity and Enthusiasm in Children - Simple Tips and Practical Suggestions.


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