Education in the fresh air, in motion, in close contact with nature and with the needs of children is our response to the problems of modern education. We are making a school full of happy children, growing up safely, developing abilities and shaping wise, responsible, and sensitive human beings.
Studies of 2019 show that 80% of Polish children lead sitting lives. Only half of them regularly skate or ride a bike, less than 20% engage in organized sport activities, such is the fatal information from the survey carried out on the initiative of the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance organization aggregating experts, who work for the improvement of the physical activity of the youngest. According to their assessment, young Poles between the ages from 5 to 17 scored second to last in Europe, gaining a score of D minus in a five grade scale from A to F. Only every fifth child in our country fulfills the criteria of the World Health Organization(WHO) regarding everyday physical activity.
Why should this worry us? Physical activity is one of the strongest incentives modeling the neuroplasticity of the brain. Lessening the amount of movement in recent years can be linked to the increase of depression among children, and to the following psychosis. During physical activity over 80% of the brain cortex is aroused. For a few million years of human history, physical activity had been contributing to the development of the brain; a growing energy consumption of the brain has increasingly resulted in more activity. Almost all types of plasticity of the brain, e.g. the change of strength of connections between neurons or the formation of new neurons are strongly stimulated by physical activity.
According to many reports, the development and emotional disorders in children such as deficits of attention, hyperactivity, lack of movement dexterity, obesity, irregularity of sensory integration, low level of social and communication competencies, aggression, depression and neuroses are based on insufficient direct contact with nature. Scientists defined this as Nature Deficit Disorder. Tests confirm that contact with nature has a decisive role in human development, especially at the youngest age, when attitudes are shaped and fundamental habits are shaped regarding the surrounding environment. Our goal is to counteract and prevent the negative results of the Nature Deficit Disorder.
Spending time in nature ensures optimal stimulation of the senses and supports sensory integration. In nature, children can experience with all senses. In the forest they are calmer and more focused because there aren’t that many stimuli that would generate tension. Thanks to nature, children aren’t overstimulated, and their nerve system constantly develops.
Scientific surveys confirm that contact with wild nature betters the mood, motivation and self-confidence of children. It also helps pupils in making relationships. In children, regularly spending time in nature, creativity and feeling of efficiency increases. Children learn more eagerly and effectively. Nature awakens sensitivity and provides space for infinite possibilities of play, even though there aren’t any traditional toys in the area.