The Path Back to Nature
Following a butterfly across a field of wildflowers, laying in the grass picking out cloud animals, watching squirrels play a game of tag, or a father holding hands with his son as they walk gingerly through the woods in search of wild game. Those are simple things that trigger fond memories from childhood. For many, sadly, that is not the case today. Somewhere in the age of technology our children have lost touch with nature. The closest some children come to nature is the enchanted black forest in an intense computer game. It’s time to reintroduce nature to our children as a family, build family memories while stimulating growth, intelligence, and physical fitness. Research has proven that regular time spent in nature facilitates better social and physical development, improves fitness, motor-skills, and well-being, supports creativity and imaginative play, inspires collaboration while reducing stress, violence and bullying, creates feelings of empathy, and supports whole-child development and learning.
The Techno Family
The distance from nature that we have incurred as a techno family has triggered alarming trends in the increase of obesity, attention disorders, and even depression in our children. Utilizing the 2012 Kids Count Data statistics show that only eight states in the United States have a higher rate of children with one or more emotional, behavioral or developmental conditions than Kentucky. Research shows that nature has a calming effect on people and taking into account the fast paced lives that we lead we are all well aware of the need to relax. Introducing our children back to nature is a step in the right direction toward stabilizing their emotional and physical well-being.
Where do we begin?
Where do we begin you ask? Well, that is incredibly easy to answer and an opportunity for you to merge the world of nature and technology which in turn will take you right out into the middle of a whole new relaxing yet stimulating world. There are many sites related to nature on the internet; tips to help you learn where to start. A must stop in your search through the great world wide web is a site by Richard Louv, author of the bestselling book, Last Child in the Woods. Mr. Louv has defined a term, nature-deficit disorder. This term explains exactly what is wrong with limiting or removing nature from the upbringing of our children. Last Child in the Woods is part of a growing movement termed Leave No Child Inside.
Resources to the Great Outdoors
If you are ready to take that leap, create everlasting memories while focusing on the mental and physical growth of your child, you are just a click away.
- RichardLouv.com/books/last-child/children-nature-movement/ – Children and nature movement and how you can get involved.
- childrenandnature.org – Children and Nature Network – A Stronger, Closer Family.
- http://www.neefusa.org/health/children_nature.htm – National Environmental Education Foundation – Children and Nature Initiative Prescriptions for Outdoor Activity
- http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature.aspx – National Wildlife Federation – Connecting Kids and Nature: Working Towards 10 Million Kids Outdoors.
Author: Belinda Davis © 2017