Being in regular contact with nature is an important part of a child’s life. A recent government survey has revealed that 12% of children in England have not been to a ‘natural’ space in the last 12 months. The 2 year long survey, commissioned by Natural England, showed too many children are not getting the opportunity to play in a park, walk in woodland areas or along the beach, or spend time in other outdoor, natural environments.
With children being less and less inclined to play outside since the release of new technologies such as iPads, phones and computer games they tend to discover less about their surroundings and lose connections to the natural world. At Tops Day Nurseries they recognise the importance of providing the children with balance. Technology is here to stay and so they must learn how to interact on new equipment and devices, which is why each nursery has their own interactive digital tables to promote children’s development and education with English and maths challenges. However the time spent on this is limited for each child and during other times they encouraged to get active and get to know their surroundings.
Tops Day Nurseries believe it is important to let children be children and explore the great outdoors. Most of their settings provide Tops Forest School sessions, teaching children how to study nature, take risks and build dens.
Children attending Tops Forest School undertake different activities each week; it could be a mini beast hunt looking for a variety of insects in our gardens and play areas, racing leaves from one side of the bridge to another or exploring different natural locations including Wimborne Conservation area, Hengistbury Head, Kinson common, Leigh Park Gardens and other areas local to each nursery. Find your local Tops Day Nursery here and discover how they try to keep children in contact with nature.
Source: daynurseries.co.uk, image: Bart Stornebrink