The Calming Effect of Nature on Children

One of the great things about playing in nature is that bouts of exertion and excitement are often interspersed with quiet, contemplative time.  I don’t have to recommend these quiet moments… my five-year-old sits down and calms himself entirely on his own whenever he’s inspired by the beauty around him.

I often wonder what he’s thinking, but I wouldn’t dare interrupt the magic of the moment…

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Photos taken January 21st, 2013

Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Berkeley

Articles about the calming effects of nature in children…


  1. I remember when we switch our daughter’s school and decided to go online at home a few short weeks into Becca seemed to be a little depressed. Besides her being ill with chronic lung issues and missing her friends I really think that the bigger issues was her being cooped up inside in the middle of winter was a her biggest downer.So her dad and I decided to take her on an impromptu trip in the car ride to her favorite destination, Duluth. WE had a wonderful time even though it was cold we got to see the sites of the harbor and enjoy old fashioned treats: popcorn and hot chocolate while walking on the snow covered path of the boardwalk. Nature is a true inspiration when we need cheering up. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts, Allie.


    1. Ah, the wonderful, healing nature of a bit of time in nature. I, too, begin to feel a bit blue when I’m deprived of it. As, I suspect, most people do, whether they know it or not. Good job noticing the effect on your daughter and giving her a healing dose of outdoor time.


  2. As you know, my daughter is just 15 months, but even in her infant stage, we knew that the fresh air, a nice long walk, and a cool breeze were all things that soothed her. Even if we’re only able to steal away to our porch for a few minutes, she and nature are becoming fast friends!


  3. We most certainly agree on the positive effects the outdoors could have on the mental, emotional and physical development of children – we’ve been taking our son along on trips into the wild places of South Africa from the time he was two weeks old and it is probably the best parenting decision we’ve made!


    1. One can only hope. When he was two, I also started the “step back and take a deep breath” concept to help him when he became upset. I’ve found that when he becomes frustrated or angry about something while we’re at home, he usually runs up to his room, where I’ll find him staring out the window at the oak tree, watching the birds. He usually comes back down relaxed and normal again. Ah, the healing power of nature!


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