Schools and ChildrenAs with adults, plants and landscapes have an enormous positive impact on children, especially regarding their classroom learning capabilities and behavior. Plants and green environments have been shown to reduce the behavioral problems in children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. Learning is improved in classrooms with a view to a landscaped outdoor environment. Children’s play is more diverse, and their socialization improves on playgrounds that are near or integrated with natural landscape elements, such as trees or a wooded area (Lindholm, 1995).
Andrea Faber Tayor (2001) conducted a study of children with severe attention deficit disorder to see if the “greenness” of their play area affected their behavior while playing and after playing in that environment. Faber Taylor found that the ADD symptoms were worst in a room without windows, engendering extreme ADD behaviors that lasted for days. On the other hand, green play areas (i.e., those with grass, trees and landscaping) seemed to reduce the ADD behaviors, and the children were reported to be calmer and more focused the day after playing in the green area.
In a review of the all the studies relating to the impact of nature and landscapes on children, Faber Taylor (2006) concluded that:
While we wait for more carefully controlled studies providing evidence of a causal relationship (between natural environments and children) current evidence suggests that the general hypothesis may be correct: contact with nature is supportive of healthy child development in several domains—cognitive, social and emotional. Until proven otherwise, we can continue to assume, just as they need good nutrition and adequate sleep, children may very well need contact with nature. (pg. 136)