At Muddy Puddles we're all about stomping in mud and getting out and exploring come rain or shine! We know how important outdoor experiences are for children and believe there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong kit. Our mission is to inspire and enable thousands of children and families to enjoy the natural world around them and spend more time outdoors whatever the weather.
Children's outdoor play has been linked to a huge range of benefits, including improvements in overall behaviour, social skills, creativity, mental focus and a reduction in aggression and stress. We’re passionate about all kinds of outdoor activities because we know they help children develop healthier bodies, better concentration and bigger imaginations.
We wanted to share an interesting study by the Institute of Education at University College London (UCL), commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts to evaluate the impact that experiencing nature has upon children. The study focuses on primary school children and the effects of Wildlife Trust-led activities on their wellbeing. These outdoor activities involved children learning about nature, including identifying plants and trees and considering the needs of different wildlife habitats. Overall, the research showed an increase in the children’s wellbeing after they had spent time connecting with nature and a longer-term increase in their personal wellbeing and health over time, as well as revealing an increase in nature connection.
90% of children felt they learned something new about the natural world
79% felt that their experience could help their school work
After their activities 84% of children felt that they were capable of doing new things when they tried
79% of children reported feeling more confident in themselves
Nigel Doar, The Wildlife Trusts’ director of strategy says: “This research shows that children experience profound and diverse benefits through regular contact with nature. Contact with the wild improves children’s wellbeing, motivation and confidence. The data also highlights how children’s experiences in and around the natural world led to better relationships with their teachers and class-mates. The Wildlife Trusts believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife in daily life and we’re calling on government to recognise the multiple benefits of nature for children – and ensure that at least one hour per school day is spent outdoors learning and playing in wild places”.
You can read more about this study in the report summary.