The environment around children and young people can help improve social and emotional development. Children learn through their senses. From the age of 2, according to Piaget's Sensorimotor Stage, a child will learn with their senses being what they see, feel, hear, and taste. A garden or any other part of the environment can give these children an ability to learn through their senses within their natural surroundings. The environment can also teach the child about the cycle of life and outcomes achieved from growing a plants from seed or seedling, feeding it and enjoying the end result.
In todays environment, children and young people are often not given the opportunity to engage with the natural environment because of a busy lifestyle or living in a residence with hardly any green area. Even a trip to the local park can mean playing in the playground without any thought to the natural surroundings.
Take the time to teach your children the natural environment through their senses no matter what age. This activity can be learned when going for a walk or exploring your backyard if you have any greens in there. Children will learn the value of their environment, that caring for it is meaningful, and how to nurture if they have a chance to grow something.
Nature can help improve stress and increase empathy as the surroundings are calming and growing plants or even animals can teach a child now to nurture and care for others.
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