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How often do you see joyful children playing outside with their peers, swept up in the excitement and jubilantly singing alongside the chirping birds? Unfortunately, that seems to be a less common scene these days. The never-ending games of hide and seek have been replaced by multi-player sessions of Animal Crossing.

Console games provide a variety of mind-stimulating opportunities. But they fail to address the overall well-being of developing children. Thankfully, time spent in nature can counteract the effects of technology and closed-up spaces and make a positive impact on children’s wellness.

Today, parents want to create a healthy outlet for their children, and nature seems to tick all the boxes. From improvements in mental focus to reductions in aggression and stress, nature might well be the next ‘quick fix’ but with a guaranteed long-term positive effect.

Let’s explore the range of benefits that come along with nature activities for children.

Intellectual benefits

Think of nature as a real-life encyclopaedia. It provides children with an interactive learning experience through stimulating all five senses. It’s the perfect accompaniment to indoor lessons, offering an immersive experience of their new knowledge.

Outdoor sessions are a swift way of piquing children’s curiosity and thirst for knowledge while elevating their well-being. Time in nature is proven to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This is because it stimulates children to enquire about their surroundings. In return, kids are likely to experience a boost in confidence and a desire to continue developing outside of the classroom.

A recent study by the Institute of Education at University College London (UCL), commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, evaluates the impact of nature on children. Through a range of outdoor activities performed by over 450 primary school children, such as identifying plants and trees, they observed an increase in the children’s well-being both in the short and long-term.

The children also gained intellectual benefits which span across their wider personal and social abilities:

🌳 90% of children felt they learned something new about the natural world.

🌳 79% felt that their experience could help their school work.

🌳 After their activities, 84% of children felt that they were capable of doing new things.

🌳 79% of children reported feeling more confident in themselves.

Emotional benefits

The fact that nature on its own can reduce ADHD and anxiety symptoms speaks greatly about its immense ability to improve mental health and emotional well-being in children.

A recent study compared the aftereffects of 49 activities conducted in green outdoor settings versus those in indoor setting on children’s ADHD symptoms. It was concluded that green outdoor activities reduced symptoms significantly more than those conducted in other environments. This is true even when activities were matched across settings.

The emotional benefits of outdoor activities affect children of all ages and mental states. The change of scenery that nature provides offers a break in the usual routine, as well as a calmer state of mind. This can be a great learning stimulant and can also open a child’s mind to new perspectives on their lessons.

Social benefits

Outdoor activities are a great way for children to interact with their peers outside of the classroom and learn new social skills. Play dates for both younger and older children give them the chance to collaborate, use their imagination, and have fun with their friends.

A group environment teaches children valuable social skills, which include active listening, sharing, creating and following rules, and showing empathy towards a group member who is sad or hurt.

79% of the kids who participated in The Wildlife Trusts study reported better relationships with their classmates after engaging in group outdoor activities.

Physical benefits

As we already mentioned, the health benefits of spending time in nature are immense. When combined with group or individual activities, children have the chance to effortlessly build stronger muscles and bones and exert energy. This results in an overall improvement in health.

We all know that things can get quite messy, especially when children are still little and excited about their surroundings, no matter the weather. That’s why stocking up on essentials for all weather conditions, including wellies, a baby puddle suit, hats, gloves, and winter coats, is a must.

Let’s not neglect the advantages of natural sunlight, which increases a child’s amount of vitamin D and boosts their immune system. Fresh air and an appreciation of the natural world are also massive bonuses.

We tend to take nature for granted, so we often fail to realise its many benefits on our well-being. With children still developing, it’s crucial to make efforts to promote outdoor activities. Then, we can watch the children of tomorrow flourish in wellness.   

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Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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