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The ways young children experience nature have changed in recent decades. Today children are more likely than ever before to be disconnected from the natural world. This limited contact with nature negatively affects the growth and development of the whole child. In addition, young learners are losing the opportunity to connect with nature and develop an understanding of their place in the natural world. This entry will focus on reasons why children’s experiences in nature have changed, the benefits of spending time in natural playscapes, and developmentally appropriate ways to incorporate nature into children’s daily experiences.

Reasons for Change in Children’s Nature Experiences

Today’s children spend an average of only 4 to 7 minutes a day outside. This limited outdoor time can be attributed to several cultural ...

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