In this age of computers, video games and television, it is more vital than ever that every child become instilled with an appreciation for the great outdoors.
Now is the time to get them outside, as September 24-30 marked Richard Louv’s Take a Child Outside Week. Louv is the author of the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder and last September he spoke at Denver’s Mordecai Children’s Garden in order to draw attention to the growing scarcity of outdoor play.
The American Academy of Paediatrics report on play states that Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. Play is essential to the development of cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of youth. It’s also important for people of any age to manage stress and stay healthy. The report explores issues that have resulted in decreased outdoor activity including changes in family structure, poverty, gruelling academics and hectic lifestyle.
The Denver Botanics Garden Blog points out that those children who grow up playing outside develop a sense of ownership and responsibility about the natural world and are more likely to support conservation as adults. The Report On Play explains that remedies for this issue are diverse and range from enhancing early community-based education to changing media messages.
The best thing for inside blues is a sense of adventure. Take your kids outside to your own backyard or local park, ask them questions about the natural world and foster a curiosity about our beautiful planet!