Children & Nature Network (C&NN)'s Annotated Bibliographies of Research

SEEK Updated
Resource Types: 

The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) released Volume 5 of C&NN's Annotated Bibliographies of Research. This one-of-a-kind free service is provided by C&NN as the best single source of studies relevant to the children and nature movement. Volume 5 includes 88 new studies reported from 2009 to 2011, bringing the total in Volumes 1 - 5 to more than 200.

We review the literature, evaluate for quality and relevance, and then write brief descriptions of each individual research report or synthesis of research. Links are provided so that anyone can find and read the original documents as well. If you find this resource valuable to you, your work and the children and nature movement-consider sending a tax-deductible contribution.

Findings include:

  • Preschool children experiencing a weekly outdoor lesson have improved self-efficacy and early literacy skills
  • Children who play more outside and watch less TV have lower BMIs
  • Children who spend more time outside are more physically active
  • Having other children that play outdoors helps minimize physical activity declines in adolescent girls
  • Children have higher physical activity levels in greenspace as compared to non-greenspace
  • Green areas on elementary school grounds support the highest level of children's moderate physical activity
  • Children living in neighborhoods where parents believe that there are good parks and sidewalks spend less time engaged in screen-based behaviors, are more physically active, and are more likely to walk or bike to and from school
  • Children living closer to parks and greenspace participate in more active sports and have higher levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity
  • Elementary school principals overwhelmingly believe recess has a positive impact on students' achievement, learning, and development
  • Forest School sessions increase children's and families' play in natural environments and provide numerous benefits
  • Direct nature experiences are important for changing environmental attitudes & behavior
  • In the past 5 years, children's media use has increased substantially
  • In three generations, there has been a significant decline in the amount of time Danish children spend in nature
  • In one generation, there has been a huge decline in Australian children's outdoor play (also UK and Norway)
  • Youth participation in outdoor activities has declined since 2006
  • Americans believe nature experiences are important for children, but face a number of barriers that limit their ability to support children's nature contact
  • 88 percent of children reported using a computer almost every day, while only 11 percent of children reported visiting a local park or natural area almost every day. (The Nature Conservancy, 2011)
  • In 1999-2002, less than 0.5 percent of U.S. adolescents met current nutrition, exercise, and screen time recommendations
  • Canadian children today are taller, heavier, larger, and weaker than in 1981
  • Children with low levels of physical activity and high levels of screen-time are almost two times as likely to be overweight
  • To read the research or download the PDF, go to

    Children & Nature Network (C&NN)
    Topic Areas: 
    Outdoor Recreation
    Target Audience: 
    Geographic Location: 
    All Minnesota
    Outside Minnesota
    68 pp.
    Date Produced/Published: 
    Library loan: 
    Is training required?: 
    Contact(s) or order information.: 

    Children & Nature Network
    7 Avenida Vista Grande B-7, #502
    Santa Fe, NM 87508