Raise a Nature Lover via Parents.com


l 102080311 Raise a Nature Lover via Parents.com

Skipping stones. Climbing trees. Lying in the grass and looking for patterns in the clouds. They’re among the most iconic images of growing up. Unfortunately, they no longer represent the way most children spend their weekends.

During the past several decades, childhood has largely moved indoors. Instead of building tree forts and chasing butterflies, kids today are far more likely to spend their downtime in front of a screen. According to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, kids use electronics for nearly eight hours a day. Compare that figure with a University of Michigan study, which found that kids are engaged in unstructured outdoor play for less than 30 minutes per week.

That represents a genuine loss for our kids. Humans evolved in the outside world, and we have an inborn affinity for it. “Without fostering a deep connection to nature, we can’t truly flourish as individuals or as a species,” observes Peter Kahn, Jr., Ph.D., director of the Human Interaction With Nature and Technological Systems Lab at the University of Washington, in Seattle.

Being outdoors can help energize and inspire us. A University of Illinois study, for instance, showed that children with ADHD had noticeably… Continue Reading on Parents.com–>

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