It’s well documented that gardening is good for you. A recent Swedish study of 4,000 60yr-olds found that gardening significantly reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It also found that gardeners experienced less depression. As a survey by the National Garden Scheme highlights that in Britain adults associate their gardens with relaxation, being in touch with nature and being active.
It will come as no surprise that time outdoors for our children can work wonders for their health and happiness. I was lucky enough to grow up in rural area with a large garden and spent most days playing outdoors with my brother and sisters. We spent hours playing in nearby woods making dens, playing in mud, making perfume! Recent research highlights we have more memories of outdoor experiences than anything else in our childhood.
Woods and forests provide a magical and adventurous place for children to explore and to use their imagination. Ofsted’s 2008 learning outside the classroom report revealed that woodland environments can boost Childrens self-confidence and self-esteem. Although recent surveys suggest that only 10% of children have played in woodland compared with 40% of their parents’ generation.
Nursery fun inside out
We are so fortunate to live and work within such beautiful country side and have a wealth of space both indoors and out that we can access freely throughout the day. Outdoor play provides children with hours of fun and stimulation. Young children have an insatiable drive to find out about and make sense of the world around them. We work hard to plan and provide a positive outdoor environment that stimulates each child’s curiosity enabling them to explore and investigate through first hand experiences. www.infantandtoddlerforum.org Physical activity and play for children (download) http://blog.childrenandnature.org/2014/06/24/ten-easy-ways-to-connect-your-family-to-nature
Plans are afoot to redevelop the Nursery room garden as its now looking a little tired and in need of updating. Over the last few months through observing how children use the outdoor area the staff team have been exploring new ideas and are in the process of putting together a project plan – details will follow soon of how you can get involved! We would love to hear from you if you can lend your expertise in gardening, would like to get involved in Forest Schools or outdoor fun!
Go for a bonding walk
It’s important that we don’t take for granted what we have on our door step. There’s nothing like a good walk to make you feel good. `Walking side by side with your child is a lovely time to connect` says Dr Rebecca Chicot, founder of the Essential Parent Company www.essentialparent.com. `The conversations we have with our children on walks are often the most free and deep we will ever experience as there are no distractions….just being together, on a path, going in the same direction.`
The Ellesmere Centre in the village have excellent walking route maps of the surrounding area – have you walked through Bluebell wood and along Devils Dyke or the Three Parishes yet! www.countryfile.com/days-out/devils-dyke-cambridgeshire www.theaa.com/walks/moulton-and-three-churches-421044
Maybe you could share with us any of your own exciting outdoor walks and adventures!