“I like to play indoors better because that’s where all the electrical outlets are.”
That iconic 4th grader’s quote from Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods , sums up how much today’s kids are disconnected from nature.
A recent report from the National Wildlife Federation states that the average American kid spends about 7 minutes a day outside versus about 7 hours a day in front of a screen—whether television or computer.
That’s why it’s good to know about a month-long observance focusing on enjoying the natural world around us—June is Great Outdoors Month. With a Presidential Proclamation issued by the White House, there’s an array of special activities, and programs helping kids to reconnect with their natural heritage. Moreover, this week is Great Outdoors Week, running through Saturday. Check the Web for special events scheduled in your area, including many states featuring state-wide initiatives, like Illinois’ No Child Left Inside program.
Every child need a daily dose of unstructured, “get outside” time to be more well-rounded and happier. Here’s an optimal time to hunt for bugs, practice swimming, climb trees, explore nooks and crannies, while you let your imagination run wild. Not only does it do an incredibly amount of good for the body, but the mind benefits as well. Studies have shown that exposure to natural settings can reduce some of the symptoms of ADHD.
There are myriad opportunities to celebrate outdoor spaces, which can be as close as the backyard, or a nearby park. So, remember those words that used to be commonplace: “Go outside and play!”