Why You and Your Students Should Go Outside and Take Nature Walks

Not too long ago, I wrote a blog post called 15 Reasons Why Children Need Recess. In that post, I described several of the reasons why children feel like they need outside recess. Many of the children talked about relieving stress, getting exercise, releasing energy, and being able to relax for a bit. In today's guest post by Djew Bennis, Djew explains the benefits of taking your students outside for nature walks to listen to the sounds of nature. She also gives suggestions about integrating nature walks... also referred to as listening walks... with different subject areas. Keep reading to learn more!

Reasons why teachers and students should go outside for nature walks.  Physical activity, observation skills, communing with nature, and more.

The following is a guest post written by Djew Bennis. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Guest Post by Djew Bennis

Noise pollution includes the unpleasant sounds made within our environment that affect our physical health and emotional well-being. An added concern expressed by audiologists is when someone is exposed to loud noise (higher than 85 decibels or dBs), especially for long periods of time.

What better way to escape noise pollution than by communing with nature!

A teacher is taking his students for a nature walk through the woods

One of the unpredicted advantages of the travel ban these past few years was the absence of humans to national parks and common areas. As a result, certain populations of birds were able to migrate and populate; their songs are filling skies and people’s emotional health banks.

Researchers remind us that enjoying bird and water sounds has been proven to lower stress levels and improve mood. Psychologists give evidence to support the sounds of nature may diminish pain, lower heart rates, and heighten cognitive abilities. Landscape designers mention that water features are requested more often than any other element, to mask noise and make urban spaces more appealing.

A teacher is taking his students for a nature walk on a trail

Masking noise (defined by unwanted or irritating sound) has been a rising concern for decades, but even more so since people have upped their participation in working remotely, Zoom sessions, and trying to combat anxiety.

Fortunately, not all sounds are created equal. Including a listening walk into your weekly agenda would increase your time outdoors, increase your physical activity, but also give you practice with your observation skills.

A group of children on a nature walk
Supplement your outdoor experience by carrying it across the rest of your curriculum.

🍎 Math: Gather data on noise pollution and create a pie graph showing the environmental sounds that are the most harmful.
🍎 Reading: Discover and share books about birds and nature walks.
🍎 Science: Design an experiment to generate different water sounds.
🍎 Music: Seek out nature sound audio tracks to enjoy and then talk about how they make you feel.
🍎 Geography: Find out which state parks have bird trails and bodies of water.
🍎 Writing: Look at photos from nature and use descriptive words to create poetry

As a proud mom (of humans & fur babies), Djew Bennis is a retired teacher and educational consultant with 35+ years spanning many classroom settings/abilities and grade levels. A background in literacy, early learning (B-5), and special needs provide diverse perspectives in her role as host of the Homeschool Whisperer and Homeschool Whisperings Facebook groups. Please visit Djew’s website http://www.heartstringsandtailspins.wordpress.com to connect and learn more.

Did you enjoy learning about the benefits of taking a nature walk with your students? If so, check out these related blog posts:

search words: nature, nature walk, outdoor learning, hiking, environment, five senses, sensory activities

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