Why Kids Need a Daily Dose of the Outdoors
The future belongs to the nature-smart. At least, that’s what best-selling author, Richard Louv—who coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder” and the ensuing New Nature Movement—believes: “The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”
If that’s true, our children are going to need generous doses of daily outdoor adventure. On average, children ages 8 to 18 consume nearly 8 hours of media in a day. Smartphones, iPads and handheld games aren’t going anywhere but into the hands of more and more kids who are on their devices like it’s their full-time job. With abundant virtual interaction as the new norm, the importance of unplugging and taking time to connect with nature is more vital than ever.
The Perks of Smelling a Flower
Spending time in nature is essential to human health. Green spaces reduce stress and time spent outdoors increases self-esteem, fitness level, knowledge, skills acquisition and more. If that’s not enough to boot your kids out the front door or carve out time for a family adventure, then what?
Play Like it’s 1999 (or ‘79…or ’59)
Blast your kids into the past when unstructured playtime was more of the norm. This type of play helps protect a child’s emotional development and sense of independence. Plus, let’s not forget that it’s downright fun. Go ahead, let them climb a tree, build a fort in the woods or splash in the nearest river.
Merrily Down the Stream
Nature makes you nice. Studies show that time in nature enhances social interactions and value for community. Not to mention, people who have memorable experiences in nature as children tend to care more for the environment as adults. With a planet so impacted by our collective human footprint, let’s create stewards with fond memories of time spent outside who will care about preserving a nature that’s nurtured them.
See? Getting our kids outside and into the wild matters more than we think. After all, we’re raising the nature-smart, environment-loving folks of tomorrow.