Early child development: Body of knowledge : Nature
Full article can be read from the hyperlink above.
Three interesting and integrated articles relating to play, playspace design and nature by Barbara Kiser: Learning through doing, Günter Beltzig: Learn to play, play to learn & Stephen Kellert: Build nature into education.
From the Stephen Kellert article
“Immersion in the sensory and informational richness and dynamic qualities of woodlands, beaches and meadows evokes basic learning responses such as identification, differentiation, analysis and evaluation. Children distinguish big trees from little trees, house plants from garden plants, vines from ferns, ants from flies, ducks from songbirds, real creatures from imaginary ones. They develop quantitative skills by counting insects and flowers; gain materials knowledge from playing in grass and mud; intuit physics from how creek water responds to obstacles and opportunities. In recognizing hills, valleys, lakes, rivers and mountains, they learn geological form. In engaging with other life from redwood trees to hedgehogs, they encounter an endless source of curiosity, emotional attachment and a motivation for learning. In adapting to the ever-changing, often unpredictable natural world, they learn to cope and problem-solve.”