Home-schooling parents are turning to nature to keep their children learning during the lockdown – by using the garden and walks as a classroom, a study has found.

Since the schools closed in March, millions of parents have been searching for ways to entertain their children in an educational way as they adapt to a new way of life.

Alongside the regular maths, English and reading, 75 per cent of parents are incorporating nature into their children’s lessons, encouraging them to take more notice of the nature around them when they are in the garden or exercising outside of the home.

More than three quarters of parents who have a garden are ensuring they continue to do activities with their children in the outdoor space, with 87 per cent believing being in nature is good for their youngster’s mental health.

And 70 per cent are organising the same amount, or even more outdoor activities as a family now, pointing out nature along the way, as they make the most of their daily exercise allowance in line with government recommendations.

Eco-friendly paint maker Farrow & Ball, which commissioned the research, has launched a competition to encourage families to celebrate nature and the colours around them.

Families are being asked to share a colour they found in the natural world as a suggestion for a paint shade, with the winning colour being brought to life and given to the winner to use at home.

Charlie Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball said: “Many parents are trying to juggle acting as a teacher for their children and working from home at the same time, leaving them looking for creative ways to keep their children learning.

“Alongside the work their children may have from school, making the most of the nature around them can be a great way of learning while having fun.

“This can be in the garden, if you have one, or even while walking around the block as part of your daily exercise.

“We’ve even created nature-themed activity sheets to download from www.farrow-ball.com/childrens-activity-sheets.

The study, of 2,000 adults also revealed, perhaps unsurprisingly, that seven in 10 adults wish they spent more time in nature than they currently do.

And 74 per cent of parents want their children to head outdoors more often as they appreciate the positive benefits.

More than two thirds of respondents said that being in nature made them feel more relaxed and calmer.

As a result, many try to bring the outside in, with more than half of those polled, via OnePoll, being inspired by something in nature – like a colour or pattern – in their home décor choices.

Charlie Cosby added: “Nature is all around us – even in city centres – and people are more appreciative of the outdoors at the moment as they are restricted in what they can do.

“Painting our living spaces in a colour that’s inspired by nature is a great way of bringing the outdoors in at a time when we are spending more time at home than ever before.”

Farrow & Ball’s competition is open until 27th May following the launch of its Colour by Nature palette in partnership with The Natural History Museum in autumn 2019.

To enter the competition, entrants are asked to photograph their favourite colour in nature, give it a name, and enter it at www.farrow-ball.com/win


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