(WYTV) – On Earth Day, parents often remind their kids to think about how their actions can impact the earth. But according to a recent study, connecting with nature can help our kids’ brains in return.
The study surveyed 493 families of children between the ages of 2 and 5.
Parents answered questions about how much their children enjoyed nature, whether they showed empathy and responsibility toward nature and their overall awareness of nature.
Researchers found that kids who were more connected to nature had better moods and behavior, showed less stress and had better social skills.
“There’s dual benefit to spending more time outside,” said Dr. Kate Eshleman, with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. “The first is increasing the physical activity, connecting with nature, being educated about things outside of a child’s self. The other piece of that is the more time a child is outside, the less time they’re spending inside in sedentary activities.”
She said parents should encourage spending time outdoors and model that for their children.
“The best way to encourage it is by modeling it, so go outside together, as a family.”
Eshleman also reminded parents that it’s up to them to put necessary limits on screen time.