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Children & Nature Worldwide: An Exploration of Children’s Experiences of the Outdoors and Nature with Associated Risks and Benefits We are pleased to present this joint publication of the Children & Nature Network ( and the IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication ( This document provides an evidence base for the importance of children’s and youth’s connections with nature, now and for the future. Evidence provided in this annotated bibliography of research relates to: 1) children’s experiences of the outdoors and nature, particularly the often limited nature of these experiences and 2) the benefits derived from children’s experiences of the outdoors and nature—both for their healthy development and the protection of the Earth. The studies selected for this bibliography represent a small sample of the studies that have been conducted on these topics over the past several decades and were included to highlight: 1) the variety and quality of research in these areas and 2) the diversity of places where this research is taking place. Researchers have used a range of methods and techniques to creatively and effectively study these issues. In addition, research is increasingly taking place worldwide, which provides a critical opportunity to begin to understand children’s outdoor and nature experiences and the benefits derived from these experiences across cultures. While additional research is needed, these studies highlight some of the important progress that has been made in recent years as well as the profound risks to the health of the planet, its diversity, and its wild areas in a world in which children are increasingly disconnected from direct experiences in nature. This document includes studies from five volumes of research summaries that have been compiled by the Children & Nature Network. These five volumes are available at This document includes an executive summary of each research report, information on lead/corresponding author affiliation, a full citation, information on each document’s availability, and information on which Children & Nature Network research volume the original report appears. Cheryl Charles, Ph.D. President and CEO Children & Nature Network Keith Wheeler Chair IUCN Commission on Education and Communication © 2012 Children & Nature Network 1

Children & Nature Worldwide

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