Restorative Properties of Nature

“The exposure to nature restores our cognitive functions, enabling us to concentrate better.” ~Stephen Mayer, professor of psychology at Oberlin University.

In September, we talked about the start of school and getting back into the educational aspects of the indoor and outdoor classrooms. But it is important to remember that the outdoor classroom serves another function: it is a chance to reconnect with nature. In addition to the educational value of time spent outdoors, it also enables us all to refocus our energy. Spending time in nature during the middle of the day can help children concentrate better on learning when they return to the indoor classroom in the afternoon. Be sure to make the most of the time spent outdoors by allowing children the freedom to unwind a little bit through individual play: it will make them more ready to get back to learning when recess is over! One idea for encouraging this connection with nature is to plant 4-5 trees close together in you outdoor play area. By doing so, you can make a mini woods where children can sit and play quietly, investigate nature, dig up worms, or just run around through.

For other ideas on what the children can learn on the preschool playground, visit