Updated: Apr 28
It's no secret that our kids are spending a lot of time in front of screens these days. While technology does have its benefits, it's important to make sure your children are getting the most out of their digital experiences. We believe that playing with nature is one of the best ways to do that.
By engaging with nature, children can learn about taking care of creatures, which has major benefits for their mental health and well-being. In this article, we will share how combining digital engagement and nature can be beneficial to your children's learning experience, as well as some fun activities they can do at home or in the great outdoors! Get ready to combine digital and natural techniques for success!
The Growing Necessity for Digital Engagement
With the pandemic taking a toll on children's educational and social experiences, digital engagement has become a necessity. Children are spending more time in front of screens than ever before, and while it provides great access to entertainment, education, and communication with loved ones, there's no substitute for exploring the outdoors.
That's why we believe that combining nature with digital engagement is the best way to give children what they need: an immersive educational experience that engages both their digital side and their more physical side.
Nature gives our students an opportunity to explore the world around them safely and get out of their comfort zone. From discovering plants to observing animals from a distance, children can learn about the environment and experience nature first-hand—all while activating their imaginations for a unique learning experience.
Nature’s Impact on Mental Health and Well-Being
When children spend more time playing with nature, it has a dramatic impact on their mental health and well-being. Studies have demonstrated that children who play outdoors tend to have decreased levels of depression, stress, and anxiety. In addition, the connection and bonding that takes place between the child and nature can create a sense of self-esteem and accomplishment.
Interacting with nature also has numerous physical benefits for developing minds. Being exposed to natural environments can lead to increased concentration, creativity, resilience, better sleep patterns, improved physical fitness levels, as well as enhanced problem-solving skills. Furthermore, research findings show that risk-taking behavior tends to decrease in settings where there is access to green spaces.
Most importantly, playing outdoors can be fun and enjoyable! Making time each day for your students to explore nature can give them much needed breaks from technology while still providing mental stimulation through discovery and creativity. It can act as a great supplement—as well as an alternative—to digital engagement that encourages healthy development.
Different Ways to Explore Living Creatures
One great way to engage with nature is to explore living creatures up close. Taking a closer look at bugs and plants outside can be a fun and exciting way to get kids involved in the natural world.
There are a few different ways you can explore living creatures with your children outside:
Bug Hunt: Go on an outdoor bug hunt and encourage children to observe the insects they find as well as log their discoveries, either on paper or electronically. Make it even more engaging by teaching children about the types of bugs they discover, such as beetles, caterpillars, and ladybugs!
Birdwatching: Help your children develop birdwatching skills such as recognizing different birds by their calls, or noting differences in feather patterns. This is a fun activity that requires patience and observation—key traits for any budding explorer!
Plant Collecting: Take your children for walks through nature, encouraging them to look for plants that can be found in your area. Identifying plants together helps them develop an appreciation for the environment around them and teaches key environmental lessons like the importance of preserving nature.
Exploring living creatures outdoors is a great way to help your children connect with nature while providing them with rich learning opportunities!
Morphoo School’s Way: Introducing Technology Meets Nature Approach At Morphoo School, we believe that children should get the most from their digital experiences, and we introduced a “Technology Meets Nature” approach to help them do just that. Our idea is simple: we want to teach our students to play with nature instead of spending all their time indoors.
Our "Technology Meets Nature" approach has several major benefits:
It helps children bond with nature and understand the importance of respecting other creatures.
It encourages children to be creative and think outside the box when it comes to playtime activities.
It also improves mental health, developing mindfulness and increasing levels of concentration and focus in the classroom.
Last but not least, it encourages outdoor activities that promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle overall.
At Morphoo School, we strive to help our students tap into their creativity and become more connected with nature through our "Technology Meets Nature" approach, which blends digital engagement with outdoor playtime activities like bug-hunting or tree climbing - offering an unforgettable experience for our students!
Tips for Keeping Kids Engaged Through Nature Exploration
If you want your kids to get the most out of their nature exploration, here are a few tips to keep them engaged:
Make it Fun
If you're just getting kids outside and expecting them to enjoy it, that's a mistake. Nature exploration should be fun for kids, so make sure to come up with creative ways for them to explore. Think scavenger hunts, bug collecting, or even creating nature art. That way, they can stay active and curious while still learning about the environment around them.
Teach Through Experience
Research shows that hands-on experiences engage people more than lectures or reading assignments. That's why you should tailor nature experiences as much as possible to what your child is interested in. Whether it's a rock-collecting expedition or bird-watching class, make sure your child is learning practically what they need to know about nature and our impact on the environment.
Let Kids Lead
Although adults are responsible for ensuring safety while exploring outdoors, children should be allowed some autonomy when it comes to their exploration experience. Encourage your children's curiosity and let them take the lead during hikes or outdoor activities. They'll learn how to recognize risks and gain independence in the process!
Combining digital engagement and nature is essential for not just for students, but for everyone. Combining the benefits of both can help us restore balance in our lives and re-connect with the world around us. We don’t all have to go completely “off the grid”, but a healthy balance of digital and nature activities is key for healthy relationships with ourselves and others.
At Morphoo International School, our mission is to help students embrace a holistic approach to learning. We believe that exploring the great outdoors and playing with living creatures is a powerful and enriching experience that can benefit all of us. We strive to teach our students the importance of appreciating and connecting with nature, and bolstering their digital capabilities to prepare them for a successful future.