Have you heard of it? It is more of a phenomenon rather than a
medical diagnoses, but the term coined by Richard Louv is the perfect
description of a very real issue with today’s children. Too much screen time,
not enough outside time. We are all guilty of it, even me. Life is so busy, we
sometimes find ourselves simply surviving rather than living life to its
fullest. The reality is, life is short. We only have eighteen summers with
our kids before they are off in the real world. That number puts things in to
perspective for me. It is why I am so passionate about experiencing new
things with them as often as we possibly can.
Children in Nature month is upon us, and although we should strive to get
kids outdoors the other 11 months as well, October is weather perfection and
this cause deserves its own month to highlight the importance of the
websites, publications, articles, blogs and more touting the benefits of
getting our kids outside to play and explore. While doing research for this
post, I realized everything I wanted to say has been said a zillion times over.
Instead of inadvertently plagiarizing, I’ve decided to share with you some
excerpts from other websites that perfectly describe the message I want to
decades, taking a mental and physical toll on today’s kids. The negative impact
of decreased time outdoors includes a doubling of the childhood obesity
rate–accompanied by an incremental hundred billion dollar cost to our health
care system–as well as declining creativity, concentration and social skills.
we say it takes a backyard, a playground, a park.
strong, enhances imaginations and attention spans, decreases aggression, and
boosts classroom performance. In addition, children who spend time in nature
regularly are shown to become better stewards of the environment.” –National Wildlife Federation
Nature Network offers a more
comprehensive, and research based list of incentives to getting our kids
to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific research studies and
publications. Collectively, this body of research shows that children’s social,
psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they
have daily contact with nature. Positive impacts include the following:*
(www.childrenandnature.org/research/),AnnotatedBibliographies of Research and
Studies,Volumes 1 and 2 (2007).
Have I convinced you to make a lifestyle change
yet for the sake of your babies? I hope so! Start small and set
goals. Stop at a playground on your way home from school or daycare
instead of going home to your comfy couch once a week. Hike somewhere new
once a month. Flip some rocks or logs in your neighborhood and see what is
under them. Piece of cake, right?
things outdoorsy? Insects, snakes, spiders, poison ivy, ticks, dirt, etc? Lets
get past those fears! Do not pass them on to your kids. Please. Just
don’t. You will not be doing them any favors by making them deathly afraid of
the little spider in your house that helps you out by eating your flies. I
offer many fact based blog posts on each of those potentially scary aspects of
hiking and playing in nature. We can work together to overcome any and all of
your fears, because when you know better, you do better.
your kids to The Bucket Club adventures. Delaware’s FIRST and ONLY nature
explorers club for kids and families. I will be leading monthly walks at local
parks. We will do fun, age appropriate activities and will end with the
all important outdoor free play. Already a self proclaimed nature loving
family? Awesome! We need you to attend as well because the love
of nature is contagious.
And remember, Mother Nature is the best teacher, therapist and entertainer.
Utilize and appreciate what she has to offer and teach your kids to do the