“… scientific knowledge of the significance of nature during the different stages of childhood is sparse.”
Edited by Peter Kahn and Stephen Kellert, this book emphasises the importance of animals, especially those with which a child can develop a nurturing relationship, and particularly for early and middle childhood. Chapter 7 (for example) reports on the help that animals can provide to children with autistic-spectrum disorders.
The publishers say:
“For much of human evolution, the natural world was one of the most important contexts of children’s maturation. Indeed, the experience of nature was, and still may be, a critical component of human physical, emotional, intellectual, and even moral development. Yet scientific knowledge of the significance of nature during the different stages of childhood is sparse.
This book provides scientific investigations and thought-provoking essays on children and nature. Children and Nature incorporates research from cognitive science, developmental psychology, ecology, education, environmental studies, evolutionary psychology, political science, primatology, psychiatry, and social psychology.
The authors examine the evolutionary significance of nature during childhood; the formation of children’s conceptions, values, and sympathies toward the natural world; how contact with nature affects children’s physical and mental development; and the educational and political consequences of the weakened childhood experience of nature in modern society …”
You can find out more from here.