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Nature and Children’s Health and Well-being. Education Essay (Essay Sample)


This assignment will allow you to dig deeper into a topic about nature and children(0-8 years old) that you have been introduced to in the course and apply what you have learned into a practical connection to your future work with children and families. The assignment will have two parts: theoretical exploration (15 marks) and practical application (15 marks). The theoretical exploration will include a focused review of the literature on your chosen topic. The practical application will include your inclusion of this topic in your desired future work (early childhood educator). APA style, no direct quotation.
Therefore, I chose the topic “nature-based therapy”, you can talk about how “nature as therapy, health and wellbeing”. There are some aspect you can talk about: restorative psychological benefits, enhanced self-esteem, improved cognitive functioning, reduced Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),  improved concentration and better motor skills ,Building resilience in response to trauma. For the implication section, you can talk about daily nature activities for children (natured-based), or teaching plan for long term and so on.
1. 8 pages(4 pages for theoretical exploration and 4 pages for practical application), one focused topic, 8 references (have to use only one reading that I provided please see attachment, other 7 should be peer-reviewed and scholarly,)
2. Detailed description of application of concepts, ideas, contexts, etc. into practice
3. Short OVERVIEW of PRATICAL application provided (~1 page)
4. Clearly connects to theoretical exploration
5. Clearly connects to your future plans related to ECS (child life, early childhood educator)
6. The paper should be in future educator’s perspective, and the application of theory is focus on children 0-8 years old’s well-being or development.
7. It is important to give a clear theory that you focus on in the theoretical exploration section. You can compare some literatures or use some literature to support the theory/ topic. For example, the prof gives an example theory abuout nature-based theory is that “Attention Restoration Theory (ART) (Kaplan & Kaplan,1989)”
People engage in two different attentions:
a.Directed attention – Effort to concentrate. For
example, cooking, studying, phone calls.
b. Involuntary attention (Automatic) – No effort to concentrate; when something interesting takes our attention. For example, seeing interesting cloud shapes or squirrels chasing each other.
Too much directed attention leads to cognitive exhaustion, may cause aggression, irritation, inability to concentrate, etc.
It is important to interpret the question “do children perceive these natural environments similarly (is it universal)? How can you integrate Attention Restoration Theory with young children?” If you are going to use this theory please cite it.
There are some main point that I copy from my lectures that I think could be helpful to understand nature-based therapy and how it relates to young children.
1. Why is this even an issue?
-Human beings are animals 
-Fight, flight or flee 
-Responsive to natural systems, like the cycle of days, seasons and years 
-Humans, in general, have an innate desire to connect to other living beings -- Biophilia 
-Acknowledge and benefit from the restorative properties of other natural things, such as hugs, pets, 
In modern times (from Berger, R., & Lahad, 2010, among others):
• -We are disconnected from nature and each other 
• -Our sensory experiences have become more limited but more overwhelmed 
• -We are highly structured in inorganic ways while living in a  time of rapid change 
• -We are exposed to traumas 
• -We are living longer but are we living better" n
nature as Therapy...
Interdisciplinary research suggests that nature has a positive effect on people’s overall wellbeing: 
• ★restorative psychological benefits,  
• ★enhanced self-esteem,  
• ★improved cognitive functioning,  
• ★reduced Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),  
• ★improved concentration and better motor skills 
• ★Building resilience in response to trauma 
(Taylor and Kuo, 2011; Berger, 2008; Berger and Lahad, 2010) 
nature Deficit Disorder...
Louv (2008),
The Last Child in the Woods,
“Nature deficit disorder” (p. 36).

explosion of ADHD diagnoses ~~ children’s
diminished contact with nature

ADHD could be minimized by experiences
in nature

More than an affinity for nature (Biophilia); humans need nature for their healthy
development, empathy, care of self and others
therapeutic effects of nature...
Our brain needs time to rest, in involuntary attention. “If you can find an
environment where the attention is automatic, you allow directed attention to
rest. ... an environment that’s strong on fascination” (Kaplan, in Clay, 2001).

Eco-therapies - psychological & physical healing (Buzzell & Chalquist, 2009)

Ie. animal assisted therapy, horticultural therapy, wilderness therapy, etc.

Each has a specific focus toward reconnecting the human psyche and
body with Earth’s healing powers.

Using nature as a mere tool for human healing perpetuates the very self-world
splits responsible for both our ecologically resonant maladies and a deteriorating
biosphere. Trees and soils, streams and skies, animals and insects are
coparticipants – subjects in their own right with their own precious needs and
freedoms to preserve.” (Buzzell & Chalquist, 2009, p.20


Nature and Children’s Health and Well-Being
Students Name
Institutional Affiliation
Nature-based therapy allows individuals to connect with the environment around them, the community as well as gain a sense of fulfillment. Therefore, it is one of the best therapies that can help in the development of children below the age of eight years. Incorporating nature in their lives comes along with a lot of benefits that are, in turn, reflected in their adult life. Therefore, this paper will focus on the theoretical and practical application of nature-based therapy as a way of raising children below the age of eight years.
Theoretical application
The main question that should be answered is whether the perception of the natural environment by children is universal. A lot of research has been done regarding the impacts of nature-based therapy n children aged below eight years. Therefore, it is clear that the perception of the environment by children is universal. Thus, this makes the nature-based therapy a universal method of helping in the development and well-being of children. Supporting the therapy is the attention restoration theory. 

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