Welcome back to the school routine after a beautiful and hopefully fun-filled summer!
Did you know that just five minutes a day of “green exercise”* can improve mental and physical health? In efforts to quantify nature’s benefits, an analysis from the University of Essex of 1252 people resulted in what we might expect: reports of less stress, better focus, and improved mood and energy levels. But, they were also able to measure decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol that strongly matched these self-reports. (Environmental Science and Technology 44, no 10 (2010):3947-55).
According to the UK “Dirt Is Good” campaign, children in the UK get an average of one hour per day of outside time, less than the two hour minimum required of maximum security prisoners! Check out their film and the campaign to increase outside play time for kids at http://www.dirtisgood.com/uk/home.html.
By now most of our school programs will have experienced at least the first session of our five “Nature Explorers” program. We headed out into the woods to explore their school’s natural surroundings and learn about estimating as we gathered materials for their first take-home project. Let us confirm what the research shows: your kids are loving being outside and seem to be quite able to listen, work together harmoniously and be creative after a dose of “Vitamin N”.
We have also had nature serendipitously enter our classroom in the form of a ladybug stowaway who posed for some impromptu “life drawing”.
Feel free to check our website regularly as we upload photos from our adventures!
* moving your body outside in nature