Ever wondered whether your children are missing out on the lessons offered beyond the classroom walls? Is there a need for us to venture back into learning in Nature?
Children today now live in a modernised world, with unbelievable development of technology that allows catching of virtual pokemons in an actual world. They have fewer opportunities for outdoor learning and regular contact with the natural world. Researchers have mainly attributed the cause to a “culture of fear” (1). Especially with the outbreak of communicable, insect-borne diseases such as Zika virus, parents are increasingly concerned about the safety of their children in outdoor environment, where factors are less controllable. Fears of ultraviolet rays, potential hazards and various forms of pollutions further tipped the scales against outdoor play and learning.
However, a loss of contact with Nature would be a major loss to us. The benefits of connecting children with nature have long been documented, and here are 6 reasons why having our children re-integrating back into Nature could be essential for their growth and development.
1. Development in multiple domains
Nature is important to children’s development in every major ways, such as emotionally, socially and physically (2). Simple observation and understanding of other animals in their natural habitats could promote empathy for other beings, and viewing the world beyond self. Children who experienced diverse natural settings also tend to more physically active; while the outdoor learning with others of their age group could improve social skills.
Young Nautilus’ slightly challenging rocky intertidal walk at Labrador Park will be a good exposure for children, to begin their exploration about our physical world.
2. Stimulation of senses
It is essential that our children are raised to respect nature and freely develop their 5 senses in its wonders. However, it is rare to find an opportunity for young children to interact with nature without a certain risk to their wellbeing. Parents, do not fret, as you do have alternatives to this conundrum.
Young Nautilus has developed a programme to stimulate a child’s senses in nature without compromising their safety. Marine discoverers’ skit aims to bring the outdoors indoors, to promote natural learning in a controlled environment. This achieves the best of both worlds, by letting our children learn through their natural senses and safeguarding their wellbeing at the same time.
3. Sources of Inspiration and creativity in problem solving
What do Velcro, the Japanese bullet train, wind turbines and speedo’s swimsuit all have in common? These problem-solving innovations were inspired by the observation and creative
application of nature mechanics. After all, millions of years of evolution has selected for the most efficient designs.
Similarly, the propulsion of squids in water has inspired efficient modification of modern propulsion system. To find out the process and science behind this fascinating yet under-valued innovation, do join our Squid Dissection workshops with your children to experience being a scientist for a day and hopefully inspire them to create the next era defining innovation.
4. Families- bonding time
When was the last time you had a good learning session together with your children? A good way to promote your relationship with your children could be an adventure at a secret zone to unearth new discoveries together.
Most of us have been to Changi Beach, but how many of us have truly explored the mysteries presented at the marine zone which appear only periodically? Let the educators of Young Nautilus reveal this secret venue to you and your family.
5. Improvement in academic performance
We learnt much about the world behind classroom walls, however studies have also emphasized on the importance of outdoor learning in enhancing academic performances (3)(4)(5). Interaction that engages all our 5 senses create a comprehensive learning of heavier impact, than to simply receive theoretical learning.
As Confucius said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
We have learnt a lot about swampy wetland habitat and its inhabitants, but what’s better learning than to take a stroll through the mangrove trees in Sungei Buloh with Young Nautilus and immerse ourselves into the embrace of Mother Nature?
6. Stress reduction
Regardless of whether your children are progressing into a new schooling environment, or facing the tremendous pressure to score in PSLE, they are increasingly exposed to inevitable stress. Why not let your children take the opportunity to put down their books and pencils, and plunge into Nature with green plants and vistas? It has been shown that such environment serve to let highly stressed children relax (6).
The newly opened rustic Coney Island will be a perfect place of greeneries for your children to venture into. Furthermore, an elusive marine intertidal zone awaits us in the middle of the island. Let Young Nautilus guide you and family into this serene hideaway, far from the bustling city.
What are you waiting for? Sign up for our programmes today!
This article was written by Young Nautilus. Young Nautilus lists its classes on the Flying Cape booking website. You may also contact [email protected] to learn more about Young Nautilus’ programmes.