“Research reveals that environments can increase or reduce our stress, which in turn impacts our bodies,” says the University of Minnesota’s website, Taking Charge of Your Health and Wellbeing. “What you are seeing, hearing, experiencing at any moment is changing not only your mood, but how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working.
The stress of an unpleasant environment can cause you to feel anxious, or sad, or helpless. This in turn elevates your blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension and suppresses your immune system. A pleasing environment reverses that.”
And in the popular book, Bringing the Outside In, authors Sandra Duncan and Jody Martin write:
“Nature-based experiences within the classroom promote collaboration among children and enhance their self-esteem. These experiences also help develop children’s fine and gross motor skills; integrate science, math, reading social studies, and creative arts; and [related to the quote above] offer opportunities for children to appreciate and experience the beauty of nature.”
Source: “How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing,” University of Minnesota website, Taking Charge of Your Health and Wellbeing
Bringing the Outside In offers nature-based experiences to encourage educators and young children to bring the natural world into the early childhood classroom. Each hands-on, open-ended, and sensory oriented experience is designed to spark discovery and imagination; encourage conversations and collaborations; and allow young children to develop a sense of wonder and get to know the natural world.
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