The research is quite clear that the best practice in early childhood education is to break away from passive instruction and allow for more play and investigation, and this kind of learning early in life builds skills and interests that serve children throughout their school years, and later in life (http://naturalstart.org).
Nature is important to child’s development and nature-based preschools are powerful programmes that can promote holistic development of the child. Positioning nature at the core of curriculum can stimulate creativity, arouse curiosity, and give children a deep respect for the shared environment and world we live in (www.antioch.edu). Without direct experiences in nature, research findings suggest that children are missing opportunities to enhance their health and well-being. Studies show that lack of interaction between children and their environment results in negative health effects on young children such as “childhood obesity, asthma, vision problems, and attention deficit disorder / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and vitamin D deficiency.
Studies in the US show that schools that use nature-based experiential education support significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math (American Institutes for Research, 2005). The global research has shown that an early start with nature based education leads to increased mastery of academic content, enhanced student enthusiasm for school, a happy child with fewer discipline or behavioural issues, better teamwork and problem solving skills, improved social connectivity for students and teachers and increased levels of physical activity.