Why has the forest always been a magical place for children?
by Stefania Conci on Feb 01, 2023
The child-friendly forest, guardian of imagination and fantasy
The forest is a place that preserves unique experiences, feelings and emotions . Even the ancients of all cultures knew it well, who populated it with fascinating and mythical creatures in their stories and legends.
Nowadays, the forest is still considered a magical place par excellence , both for adults and for children. This special place is, in fact, capable of reawakening the instinct, freedom and imagination of childhood.
In this article, we will see together why the forest represents a precious dimension for children and we will discover the best ways to experience it and make it an integral part of their lives.
Freedom and authenticity: the forest as a special place for children
The woods are places where uncontaminated nature manages to express itself in all its instincts: exactly like children, without superstructures, artificial thoughts and conventional attitudes.
A child in contact with nature , surrounded by centuries-old trees, caressed by the sun's rays that penetrate the leaves is certainly a happy child.
The scent of the fresh earth, the sensation to the touch, the noises of the surrounding environment which are expressed in all their power are experiential factors capable of transmitting the greatest teaching to every child in the world: freedom.
At the same time, experiencing the forest represents a unique opportunity for adults as well. Among nature, in fact, it is possible to find the sleeping child that everyone keeps in themselves.
The forest as a place of imagination for children
When a child walks in the woods , he manages to completely relax his mind and opens up to communication, storytelling and reflection. For this reason, we can say with great certainty that nature is able to free the imagination of the little ones.
Encountering materials that are different from the usual on your steps, such as sticks, colored leaves, colorful flowers, small streams, pebbles of a thousand shapes, colored mosses, plays of light and shadow, sounds and smells is a unique opportunity to stimulate imagination.
Furthermore, in the woods children can run , jump, climb and test their balance on new and uneven surfaces. This experiential baggage, completely original, will be able to release great stimuli, fantasy, imagination and transport in their minds.
Walking in the woods as a source of great teachings
A child walking in the woods learns to listen to the silence, to perceive hidden sensations and to rejoice in every color and smell suddenly perceived. In this magical place, every step represents a unique and exciting discovery.
The forest is the educational place par excellence , where the supreme nature rules. Here, the trees dominate everything and the animals are at home, living the area freely, according to their instincts. Visiting these marvelous places teaches children to internalize their relationship with nature, to rediscover the value of what matters and to detoxify from the superfluous.
Immersed in nature, children learn about silence, listening and the surrounding peace. This is how the heart can open to the ability to appreciate the little things, even solitude.
Approaching the environment in this impactful way, at 360°, has incredible value and only those who try this experience can fully understand how the classic playground cannot really be considered a genuine contact with nature .
The forest awakens a primitive part in those who observe it, stimulating the rediscovery of a dimension of uncontaminated purity, in which the natural order of things reigns and in which vegetation arises spontaneously, following its own physiological needs for nourishment.
There are no artificial delimitations or ulterior motives: nature in the woods presents itself exactly according to its essence and human beings, together with their children, can do nothing but love it, live it and listen to it.
Hearing the silence, the flow of water, admiring the dance of the leaves in the wind and being surprised by the small animals that they will be able to see in the vegetation will impress unique emotions in the world in the memories of the little ones.
The forest is a special environment , from many points of view and this is why young and old should frequent it often and let it enter their lives in many forms: not only through walks and free play but also with stories, drawings and games handcrafted , capable of preserving and handing down all its magic.
Experiencing the woods with children: walking in nature
In addition to the pleasure of experiencing real freedom, it is important for children to spend time in the woods , thanks to the beneficial effects that this practice can bring, both physically and mentally.
Going for a walk or a picnic, abandoning yourself to the call of the woods, will give them unforgettable moments away from the smog, chaos and all the artificial stimuli that little ones experience every day. Surrounding them with the beauty of nature, in all its genuine expression, will bring them much health and immense serenity.
Numerous scientific researches have delved into these topics, demonstrating that walking in the woods eliminates stress and stimulates the natural production of endorphins, the hormones responsible for the sensations of well-being that young and old feel.
Furthermore, while an over-stimulation given by the innumerable technological devices, normally present in the home, is the cause of nervousness, aggression and insomnia in the little ones, contact with nature is ideal for reconciling children with their inner well-being.
Nature as an educational place: the school in the woods
For some years now, the concept of school in the woods , born in Denmark in the 90s, has begun to spread in Italy , to respond to the social changes that were taking hold and to rediscover the primordial contact with nature. At the basis of this forward-looking idea, there was the belief that being outdoors , in addition to being incredibly healthy, guaranteed a better quality of life, both for children and for nature itself: learning to know and love the environment as a child , it means becoming a respectful adult. After all, each of us tends to take care of what we care about.
The formula of the school in the woods , by now, has also taken hold in our country, where the interest in educational models that focus on nature and the direct use of the senses by children is always growing.
So: no chairs and desks, no classrooms in which to spend hours and hours standing still but trees, clouds, sky, mud, rain, branches and leaves. The goals of these special schools are towards the autonomy of the child and encourage the development of special skills such as imagination, curiosity, courage and creativity. All this is possible by learning to experience nature at 360° .
If in Europe this educational model is spreading like wildfire, in the East the same objective is being pursued through similar practices, dedicated to children: we are talking about shinrin-yoku, the so-called forest bath, to fully immerse oneself in nature, rediscovering balance and deep inner well-being. It is obviously a metaphorical bath, aimed at capturing the atmosphere that nature can give off.
The essential moments that can be identified in this practice are:
- the observation of the movements inside the wood , where the animals live free, according to the laws of nature;
- the moment of contact, during which children can wet their feet with the fresh water that flows from the rocks or immerse them in the earth;
- the moment of rest, reflective and meditative, during which the explorers refresh themselves, sharing the discoveries made and metabolising them together.
From East to West, therefore, the interest in the value of the forest and in the opportunity to fully experience nature , observing it with one's own eyes and touching it with one's hands, is increasingly evident.
Independence, freedom and awareness are the watchwords of these theories, both modern and concretely beneficial for children all over the world.
The forest as an integral part of life
The value of the forest in children's lives can also be transmitted through the use of play accessories and specially created decorative elements.
We are talking, for example, of handmade cushions and handcrafted objects , rigorously made in a sustainable way , capable of evoking the flora and fauna of the woods, to educate the little ones to respect the external environment .
With our project La Stanza nel bosco we deal with the production of handcrafted cushions , capable of magically recalling all the beauties of nature.
All the products for sale on our site are committed to maintaining a delicate impact on the environment , thanks to a production to order, carried out in a laboratory powered by photovoltaic panels with the use of very small quantities of water. The inks used on the materials are water-based and do not have any chemicals in their composition.
A handcrafted, embroidered cushion is an original toy for every child capable of dreaming and letting himself be carried away by his imagination in unpredictable and emotional adventures.
La Stanza nel bosco promotes the bond between children and nature , thanks to the production of handcrafted toy cushions , ideal for evoking all the magic of the woods , preserving it and handing it down to all those who come into contact with it.
As we have seen, the forest is a completely magical place for children , an indispensable place for their peaceful growth and for the development of a profound sensitivity towards the environment.
Among the majestic trees and light leaves, the little ones will discover freedom and make conquests capable of settling forever in their memory.
Getting excited, internalizing and learning to love and respect the surrounding environment is a mission of primary importance both for the little ones and for forming the adults of the future, guaranteeing protection and profound respect for the planet.
The products of Stanza nel bosco are born by safeguarding and promoting this ambitious intention.