Why is nature so good for us and how can we use it to improve children's happiness?

Nature has magical powers and can have a huge impact on not only our happiness but also our wellbeing.  Research has shown that being outdoors reduces stress, anxiety and the risks of becoming depressed. It eases the symptoms you maybe be experiencing which is why it’s a great antidote. Helping you to focus more, be more present, boost your mood, feel more relaxed and enjoy the present moment

Happy Hormones 

Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphin are all Happy Hormones, when they are released into the body they have a positive impact on your mood.  Being in nature and doing activities in nature gives us a huge boost of happy hormones. Spending time outdoors taking advantage of the sunlight boosts your Serotonin, which improves your mood and helps you regulate your sleep, appetite, and ability to learn.

Fresh air increases the levels of oxygen in your brain which again increases your Serotonin and in turn your mood. If a child exercises outdoors the amount of oxygen they feed their brain is increased, this not only releases Serotonin but also Endorphins giving the child a positive rush of feel-good chemicals. The hormones released into the body not only improve your mood but they also help children think clearer, focus and stay calm.



Being in Nature gives us the time and space to slow down and just be. This naturally decreases our stress levels producing a sense of calm and freeing the mind. The less distractions we have the more we notice which helps to centre the mind.
Being mindful in nature enables us to admire and appreciate what we see. Making us more mindful about what we need to do to look after it. When we notice nature, we also become more aware of ourselves forming a deeper connection to ourselves.

Did you know there is a harmless bacteria in the soil which increases the release of Serotonin which helps children feel happy and relaxed? It's time to get your hands dirty...


There are many reasons why children might struggle to sleep, it is natural from the age of 2 for children to become frightened of the dark and by the age of 3-4 their dreams become more vivid often increasing their level of worry around sleep. Stress, overthinking and Anxiety can all impact a child's ability to have a good nights sleep. But a major focus in the academic world has been on the negative impact of blue light from our devices especially before bedtime. The research has proven it’s not just the light from our devices but also the sensory overload of information that is having such a detrimental impact. The level of overload will differ depending on a child's age and the amount of time on devices.

Getting outdoors frees and clears the mind enabling the body to relax and wind down, the sense of calm counters the sensory overload from devices. The increased oxygen from fresh air leads to more serotonin which makes the body and mind feel relaxed which makes children feel sleepy.  The natural light regulates the body’s production of the hormone Melatonin which helps regulate sleep patterns. There is a correlation between how fast a child gets to sleep and how long they can sleep without waking up.  In addition, Vitamin D from sunlight helps blood to flow around the body and relaxes blood vessels, lowering blood pressure calming the body.

Stress, Anxiety & Depression

Being outdoors is a natural distraction from the many devices we find ourselves using. This distraction gives our bodies and brains the downtime to unwind and recharge our own batteries.
Breathing in fresh clean air helps to reduce the production of our stress hormones calming our nervous system down. Slow deep breathing is the best of all which we do naturally when we notice a change in the temperature and feel of the air or when we smell flowers.

Nature is an amazing thing and we can learn so much from it which is so important for our children’s development particularity as it’s such a good strategy to get our children off their devices and learn more about the outdoors. Experiential learning (learning through experience) and sensory play (activities that stimulate the sense) is so important for children’s development and outdoors is a playground full of it. 

  • Makes us feel calm improving mental health
  • Releases happy hormones
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Helps produce Vitamin D which boosts our immune system
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Enhances physical activity