“G-Vitamin” for children

Nowadays, children have less contact with the nature because of reasons such as urbanization, overloaded work and study, high-speed living pace and increased crime rate which has brought some fears for parents to let their children play outdoors without their companion. Instead of going outside or playing with peers, they spend much of their free time sitting in front of the television or computer, playing various digital games. This has caused physical and mental issues as more and more children have poorer eyesight, become vulnerable to various disease and experience social communication barriers etc. Richard Louv describes this phenomenon as “nature-deficit disorder” in his book and the researcher suggests many benefits of playing in the nature for children’s development (as cited in Why Naturalize Outdoor, 2012). I have been adamant to the principles of raising the children as respecting their natural personalities as well as perceiving them as independent individuals, and providing them with the chance to play in the nature as often as possible.

There are substantial benefits of raising children in the nature. Initially, children have great space for various physical activities, and these will enhance their health as well as endurance. The more energetic a child is, the more passionate he or she will be for things around. This passion will bring positive effect for children when they are doing their academic course. American Institute for Research found that outdoor science classes improved children’s science testing score by 27% (as cited in Why Naturalize Outdoor, 2012). Moreover, children who play outdoors have more chance to meet different people and socialize with other children through games. During these games, they will get to know that people have different personalities and how to get along with other peers. Children will benefit from these experiences as they grow up, they need to adapt into the society and get along with various people. Otherwise, if children get used to sitting at home alone then they may feel uncomfortable and isolated among people. What’s more, parents and children can develop a mutual intimacy while spending some times in the nature in which adults may withdraw themselves temporarily from their preoccupied businesses, attentively listening to their children; this is of great meaning for healthy and balanced growth of the child.

To sum up, the nature is of the greatest beauty of this world and is one of the most precious gifts from the God; children may lose their inborn ability to realize these or to develop compassion for the surrounding environment if they are kept far away from the nature and lack of the “G-Vitamin” which means the green vitamin as one the most important nutrition for human health being (as cited in Why Naturalize Outdoor, 2012). In the book “Last child in the woods” by Richard Louv, there are some activities suggested by the author for family together, and personally I have some thoughts about organizing some trips with my family to explore the beautiful nature of Kazakhstan.

Reference:

Benefits of connecting children with the nature. (January, 2012). Natural Learning Initiatives.          Retrieved from:https://naturalearning.org/sites/default/files/Benefits

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5 thoughts on ““G-Vitamin” for children

  1. Super post, Sharapat! (5/5) This is clearly a thoughtful, well-developed post about the changing nature of childhood. I know older generations used to spend much more time outdoors than children today. Thanks for your reference to an outside source to help support your ideas. Just as a recommendation, I would revise your opening sentence:

    “Nowadays, children have less contact with the nature because of reasons such as urbanization, overloaded work and study, high-speed living pace and increased crime rate which has brought some fears for parents to let their children play outdoors without their companion.”

    Consider stopping the sentence after the list and starting a new sentence “Together, these have brought…”

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  2. Dear Sharapat,

    Thank you for your wonderful post! I enjoyed reading it. The question you wrote about is significant to raise. I totally agree that children should spend much time outside. Nature creates creative minds. I remember from the school days a teacher talking about Japan, and the most fascinating fact was about a subject that is dedicated to looking at nature. I always wanted to have this type of a school subject, but being outside was not a problem for me. However, now children do have a diversity of choice, and with the development of technologies, they prefer staying at home. What do you think of the idea to incorporate lessons where children could have the opportunity to observe the nature? Will it work in Kazakhstan?

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Ayana. I would definitely agree that this kind of lesson will benefit our young generation. I remember once when I was walking in the park in Almaty, I observed that there was several teachers with their students playing on the grassland and teaching them something. I would recommend that school can organize green-trip to various spots as well as some activites. This would be great!

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  3. dear sharapat812,

    Thank you for sharing your worrisome thoughts about this critical issue of present times.
    During reading your post, I’ve traveled to my childhood and remembered how I used to spend my free time. I remembered how I used to come home after lessons, have my lunch and immediately leave home to go outside and play with my friends. I totally agree that this kind of outdoor activities has definitely a positive impact on many things regarded to child’s future. I also remembered how during my working experience mostly in spring, and at the beginning of the academic year, I used to run my classes in the garden of school. We read books and students really liked those classes. Also, it is worth to mention that nowadays so much money is spent on greening of city parks and titivating environment and we should enjoy the benefits with or without our children;)
    P.S. not only children are needed in G-vitamin, but also elder generation. It would be great to have some of our classes outside as well

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    1. Thank you for recalling some childhood memories, I also have similar experiences. These experineces are the most precious ones in my life! As you mentioned, we also as adults should spend more time in the green as well as get our mind relieved from all preoccupied businesses. This will enable us to slow down and adjust our way of living!

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