How climbing trees and making dens can help children develop resilience

Research suggests that engaging in risky outdoor play such as tree-climbing can help children develop emotional resilience.

Despite all the research that tells parents how good it is for their children to spend time playing outside, they are spending more time indoors than ever before. It seems that concerns about the dangers of climbing trees or getting lost means that many parents are nervous about allowing their children to engage in risky play.

But research suggests that this element of outdoor play has significant benefits for children and can help to develop their emotional resilience.

Over the last decade and a half, schools have started to recognise the importance of outdoor time for children – resulting in the development of programmes that take learning outside the classroom. One of these programmes which has increased in popularity over recent years, is Forest School.

Dr Janine Coates, of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, and Dr Helena Pimlott-Wilson, of the School of Social Sciences, discuss Forest Schools and the benefits they provide in The Conversation. Read the full article here

A press release on their latest Forest School research, published in The Geographical Journal, can also be found here