top of page

Who can benefit from nature-based therapy or nature enrichment programs?

The answer is simple… EVERYONE and anyone can benefit from being in nature. Now, there is a difference between nature-based therapy and nature enrichment.

So what is nature-based therapy?

Nature-based therapy is an emerging practice area in the profession of occupational therapy, it has been defined as an innovative, experiential, and therapeutic framework that takes place in the natural environment. Many populations have experienced the positive impacts of nature-based therapy such as children with developmental disabilities, children with regulatory disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotional and behavioral difficulties and disorders, and motor disorders such as in cerebral palsy (CP) and developmental coordination disorder (DCD).

Woman playing in nature with child

Benefits from nature-based occupational therapy include improved skills in developmental milestones and skills, and improved social and emotional skills such as communication, self-confidence, social development, and self-esteem. Improved development in fine and gross motor skills, planning, and body awareness. Nature allows children to strengthen their connection to nature by noticing the elements around them for the ability to regulate and meet their sensory needs.

Children Playing in Nature

Nature-based therapies can look different depending on the child’s needs, making nature-based therapy unique. Nature-based therapies include and are not limited to nature-based play, hippotherapy, equine-facilitated learning (caring for the horses to help develop self-care and responsibility skills), aquatic therapy, horticulture (gardening), and so much more!

Child riding on a horse
Child swimming in a pool

Nature enrichment is for every child with or without a disability. Nature enrichment uses similar concepts of nature-based therapy to foster appropriate play skills necessary for development. The purpose of nature enrichment is to strengthen the child’s connection to nature without formal educational or rehabilitative purposes, it is meant to be fun, exciting, and creative for all children of any age!

Childrens Art in Nature

There is so much more to nature-based therapy and nature enrichment, but this is a short and sweet snippet of the amazing benefits that children can gain from nature. Please ask any questions about nature-based therapy and nature enrichment in this blog posting OR let’s start a discussion surrounding these areas!


bottom of page