learning through nature

Stepping Stones is in the enviable position of having a large outdoor area. We view this area as another classroom and utilise this area on a daily basis.

We believe firmly in connecting children with the natural environment promotes the holistic development of children. Teachers in Stepping Stones believe that being surrounded by nature and natural items provides infinite benefits to children. Nature instills in everyone a sense of beauty and calmness. It exposes us to things that are alive and growing and promotes curiosity and exploration. In our service, children can learn about being gentle and respecting living things. To observe nature requires patience and quiet watchfulness. Imagination comes into play as children create special places and use natural items to create stories and play. All senses become engaged when children interact with the natural world.

In the past decade, the benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific research studies and publications. Collectively, this body of research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature. Postive impacts include the following:

·        Supports creativity and problem solving
• Enhances cognitive abilities
• Improves academic performance
• Reduces Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) symptoms
• Increases physical activity
 • Improves nutrition
• Improves eyesight
• Improves social relations
• Improves self-discipline
• Reduces stress