The positive effects of aquarium visits on children’s behaviour: A behavioural observation

Hazel Cocker

Abstract


To date research has found a positive effect of blue spaces on adults’ wellbeing. However, it remains to be seen whether these findings are also true for children. The present study aims to address this gap in the literature. The researchers observed children’s behaviour at the National Marine Aquarium across two weeks, including one where the Big Draw event was taking place. In line with restorative theories of natural environments (Kaplan, 1995, Ulrich, 1983), the current research found the exhibit had a calming effect on behaviour and increased levels of happiness across both weeks. During the Big Draw week children stayed longer and were calmer. The results help to substantiate the current research on the restorative potential of natural environments.

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ISSN 1754-2383 [Online] ©University of Plymouth