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 Wild and Free
Outdoor Childhood Blog

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Natural Play

Open ended play

Open-ended play allows children to enjoy playtime without limiting instruction. They can explore and express creativity with the freedom to decide what their play entails. They might enact stories, create scenarios, or imagine games. This type of play lets them use their imaginations and practice essential social, cognitive, and language skills

Open-ended play is a low-pressure activity for children, meaning they don’t feel the need to perform or reach a predetermined outcome or goal. A low-pressure setting is ideal for allowing children to explore and create with one another, and it’s a perfect state for them to observe and interpret social cues (facial expressions, body language, voice tone, etc.) from their peers.


Impacts sustainable behavior and happiness in children

In a news release, first author Laura Fernanda Berrera-Hernández describes connectedness to nature as "being aware of the interrelation and dependence between ourselves and nature, appreciating all of the nuances of nature, and feeling a part of it."

Immersive Play

Agricultural Plants in Play Environments

The growing body of research and  understanding that nature is vital and combined with increased concerns about the exploding use of smart phones and other forms of technology — has led to tipping point at which health experts, researchers, and government officials are now proposing widespread changes aimed at bringing nature into people’s everyday lives.

The number of “forest schools” — which have long been a tradition in Scandinavia and where much of the learning takes place in natural settings in the outdoors — has mushroomed in the United States, up by 500 percent since 2012. 

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