October 24, 2021

Let children be more out in nature – alone

Are you skeptical that your child goes fishing alone? Maybe it’s not so stupid to allow just that.Activities such as fishing, hunting or exploring nature alone can be the key to children building strong bonds between themselves and nature.

Activities such as fishing, hunting or exploring nature alone can be the key to children building strong bonds between themselves and nature.

Could it be that children who stay alone in nature with a fishing rod by a fishing lake to a greater extent than others form strong bonds between themselves and nature?
This is according to researchers behind a study in The Journal of Environmental Education.By spending time out in nature alone, they mean children become more comfortable in nature. This in turn will contribute to increased physical and mental health.

Outdoors alone is best

The study was conducted at North Carolina State University. The researchers behind the study emphasize that social outdoor activities also strengthen the child’s bond with nature. But spending time alone, with a fishing rod, for example, has the best effect.

The results of the children spending time alone and connecting with nature, the researchers believe, therefore lead to better health – both physically and mentally.

In this study, the researchers included 1285 children aged 9 to 12 years.

The study tried to identify the types of activities that connect children to nature. The researchers defined when children like to be outside and and when they feel comfortable there.

The researchers asked the children about their experiences with outdoor life. This can be hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and various sports activities. The researchers also asked about children’s feelings for nature in general. The data were then analyzed with the aim of finding out what and which activities give children a strong connection to nature.

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Observe nature alone

The researchers believe the findings show that children must be given more opportunities to be alone in nature.

“We encourage our children to participate in social activities such as sports, scouting, etc., but perhaps children need more opportunities to establish a relationship with nature on their own – where children observe nature alone,” said Kathryn Stevenson in the news release from North Carolina State University. 2 . She is one of the researchers behind the study.

The researchers believe that children who are challenged to use nature will probably spend more time outdoors in the long run. Which in turn will be able to provide better health and increased attention. In addition, the researchers believe that connecting with nature is also important for children to get involved in environmental protection.

References:

  1. Szczytko R, Stevenson K, et.al .. How combinations of recreational activities predict connection to nature among youth. The Journal of Environmental Education 2020. doi: https: //doi.org/10.1080/00958964.2020.1787313
  2. https://news.ncsu.edu/2020/08/to-bond-with-nature-kids-need-solitary-activities-outdoors/