It appears as though I’m not the only one concerned about kids not getting outside to play these days. Here are a bunch of articles that, in some ways, are pretty depressing yet in others downright exciting!
The Times Herald – Whatever happened to go out and play?
Huffington Post – What the city could be doing to a child’s psyche
Environment News Service – ADHD Symptoms Milder After Green Space Playtime
Yorkshire Post – Call to take classes to countryside
China Daily – Children take a walk on nature’s wild side
New York Times – On Outdoor Experience and Environmental Values
Care 2 Make a Difference – 5 Reasons Children Need Time To Play At School
Public News Service – Children Getting Less Sleep Due to Electronic Media
Looking for help in figuring out ways to get your kids outside? Look no farther. The National Wildlife Federation has a great resource in their Be Out There program.
Head over there and take a look – you’re sure to find at least a few helpful tidbits of wisdom.
Remember how it was when we were kids? Mom kicked us out of the house and made us go out and play in the sunshine.Somehow, she knew it was good for us.
Now, research has actually proven that. Many studies have shown a direct link between time in the great outdoors and increased obesity, depression, stress, diabetes, ADD and poor performance in the classroom. Now, they’ve found a correlation to sleeping.
“To get a good night’s sleep they need natural sleep-inducing light during the day, the soothing effects of more natural, outdoor scenes and enhanced exercise from outdoor play.”
Hmmm… I think it’s time to go outside and play.
Looking for something to watch? How about “Mother Nature’s Child: Growing Outdoors in the Media Age”? This documentary demonstrates that nature is an essential part of the learning process.
“The documentary makes note that children who are allowed to play in a natural setting are far more likely to invent their own games and make connections.”
“In more general terms, outdoor education has many lasting benefits. “Research indicates that the use of greenspace or ‘green exercise’ improves health. In particular, learning outdoors generally results in increased levels of physical activity. In addition, interacting with greenspace (walking, gardening, etc) improves emotional wellbeing and mental health.” Outdoor education thus makes for more active children, healthier children, happier children. This is the obvious impact, but more than that it offers an opportunity to engage with the natural world, and a very different environment from that at normal child care centres.”
Playdates are replacing free child’s play in the USA and it’s having detrimental effects on our children’s development.
“Since the 1970s, kids have lost an average nine hours of free playtime a week. Kids are getting less free time outside. And when kids are given recreational activities, they are likely to be adult-led and supervised.”
Children learn important skills – social, emotional, and physical on the playground, but that time is being eliminated from their lives.
“The rise in childhood obesity coincides with the drop in outdoor playtime. Playgrounds challenge small bodies and helps kids develop gross motor skills.”
“Play is part of our DNA. It’s directly connected to brain development. Play absolutely alchemizes learning, rather than hampers it.”