No one, least of all young children, likes to spend countless hours cooped up indoors. That’s why the curriculums of day care in Gaithersburg MD also include a healthy balance of outdoor activities. Adults and children intuitively gravitate to open places, green spaces, and nature – like playgrounds, parks, walking trails and gardens. That intuitive instinct often comes with an intent to “get some fresh air”. However, nature plays a more important role in the healthy development of our minds and bodies – especially at a young age.

Nature Beyond Intuition

Research has linked positive childhood developmental outcomes to children’s exposure to nature. Those outcomes include social, emotional, and cognitive developments.  Experts studying the impact of nature, on early childhood development, conclude that this effect:

“…of green space on children’s development…seem to be pervasive and generalizable to different populations and environments.”

So, what specifically do these findings mean for parents and guardians with kids attending child care in Gaithersburg MD? Well, it reaffirms the fact that, along with a focus on learning and developmental aspects, such as:

– Social-Emotional

– Physical

– Language

– Cognitive

– Literacy

– Mathematics

– Science and Technology

– Social Studies

– Arts

– and English Language Acquisition

 …an emphasis on outdoors fun and adventure, including exploring nature around them, is important for a child’s development. A well-rounded early childhood development program covers both academic as well as physical, mental, and emotional development aspects. And that’s exactly what the administrators and staff at all MCCA-affiliated Centers deliver. All MCCA child care programs pursue state or national accreditation, which conform to early childhood education best practices.

Planting a Lifelong Love for Nature

Children may learn to appreciate nature indoors, without experiencing it for themselves outdoors. This may, at times, be essential, especially if the environment outside is particularly hostile. Extreme heat or cold, high winds, snow storms and heavy precipitation often preclude children from outdoor nature experiences – and wisely so. Exposing young bodies to such inclement outdoor conditions may do more harm than good. However, having those experiences is still essential – albeit indoors – for the sound development of young minds. 

Although children attending day care in Gaithersburg MD experience nature indoors, through in-class and on-premises plants and nature-inspired arrangements; outdoor activities also inculcate them to appreciate nature’s wonders. And while they’re experiencing and appreciating those sensations in-person, nature provides its own appreciation to these young minds in return. 

– Children are less stressful

– They display increased attention span

– Kids are more energetic and excited in open spaces and among greenery

– They’re more physically active

– It stimulates their brains

Most importantly, while contact with nature builds a foundation for healthy child development, outdoor nature activities at child care in Gaithersburg MD sets them (young children) up as later life stewards of the environment. As children touch, feel, observe, and learn about nature’s contribution to our planet, they ask important questions about nature’s impact on the environment. Day care staff, teachers, and early childhood educators play an important role in ensuring the young children in their care carry with them a lifelong love for nature.