Unstructured “nature play” has a positive impact on children’s health and development, including their cognitive development, according to a systematic review of 16 studies.
“Nature play is growing in popularity as children’s play spaces are transforming from traditional playgrounds into more nature-based play spaces with considerable financial and resource investment from government bodies,” Kylie A. Dankiw, a research student at the University of South Australia, and colleagues wrote. “This has resulted in the redevelopment of children’s play spaces to incorporate more natural elements such as trees, plants and rocks. Despite this, it is unclear whether there is empirical evidence to support claims that play in nature is beneficial for child health and development.”
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