Research

Getting the dirt on immunity: Scientists show evidence for hygiene hypothesis

6 Feb 2018

Previous human studies have suggested that early life exposure to microbes (i.e., germs) is an important determinant of adulthood sensitivity to allergic and autoimmune diseases such as hay fever, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. This concept of exposing people to germs at an early age (i.e…

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Thinking outside the four walls of the classroom: A Canadian Nature Kindergarten

5 Feb 2018

Developing and implementing a Nature Kindergarten provided new opportunities for students and teachers to deepen their connections with place. ABSTRACT This article describes the planning and implementing of a Nature Kindergarten in the Sooke Public School District in British Columbia, Canada.…

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Handheld screen time linked with speech delays in young children

5 Feb 2018

SAN FRANCISCO - As the number of smart phones, tablets, electronic games and other handheld screens in U.S. homes continues to grow, some children begin using these devices before beginning to talk. New research being presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting suggests these children…

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Children’s screen time From Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, 2015 Report

5 Feb 2018

Key findings A majority of Australian children are spending more than the recommended two-hour daily limit for screen time (watching television, on computers and playing electronic games). At 4–5 years old, children average more than two hours screen time per week-day. By 12–13 yea…

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Outdoor risky play and healthy child development in the shadow of the “risk society”: A forest and nature school perspective

23 Jan 2018

ABSTRACT This article addresses the effects of a risk-averse Western society on healthy childhood development. Forest and nature schools are specifically identified for their inclusion of outdoor risky play. Forest and nature schools are presented as idealized venues to investigate and understa…

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"Trees have a soul too!" Developing empathy and environmental values in early childhood

17 Jan 2018

Summary   Preschool children can develop empathy for non-human beings, can feel the need to protect them, and recognize their intrinsic value This study evaluated the impact of an early childhood environmental education program designed to promote environmentally friendly attitudes in…

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Trees as affordances for connectedness to place– a framework to facilitate children’s relationship with nature

17 Jan 2018

Highlights Children’s use of trees increased gradually as their connection with the place developed. Trees provided materials, play space and activities that responded to children’s needs. Experience and scaffolding around trees taught the children how to manage tree-related ri…

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The influence of the number of toys in the environment on toddlers’ play

16 Jan 2018

ABSTRACT We tested the hypothesis that an environment with fewer toys will lead to higher quality of play for toddlers. Each participant (n =36) engaged in supervised, individual free play sessions under two conditions: Four Toy and Sixteen Toy. With fewer toys, participants had fewer incidences…

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Effect of frequency and mode of contact with nature on children's self-reported ecological behaviors

16 Jan 2018

ABSTRACT The relationship between spending time in nature and behaving in an ecological manner seems to be contingent on various factors. This cross-sectional study evaluates the association of Frequency of Contact with Nature (FCN) on children's Environmental Attitudes (EA) and self-reported…

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Lifelong Residential Exposure to Green Space and Attention

11 Dec 2017

A Population-based Prospective Study BACKGROUND: Natural environments, including green spaces, may have beneficial impacts on brain development. However, longitudinal evidence of an association between long-term exposure to green spaces and cognitive development (including attention) in childr…

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