The Blog Squad

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

No Child Left Inside

In today’s Washington Post there’s a story that all parents should read. Staff writer Donna St. George introduces us to author Richard Louv of Last Child in the Woods fame. In his book, he gives a label — “nature deficit disorder” — to a phenomenon that’s happening across the county — kids who don't play outside.

Want proof? From 1997 to 2003, Sandra Hofferth, a family studies professor at the University of Maryland, found there was a decline of 50 percent, from 16 to 8 percent, in the proportion of children ages 9 to 12 who spent time outside doing things such as hiking, walking, fishing and gardening. So, there’s now a push for a “green hour,” an hour of casual outdoor play every day. Now that summer’s here, how will you make sure your kids step away from the video games and get outside? — Sarah K. McDonald


At Tue Jun 19, 01:52:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Jason said...

I read the article too and felt it did a great job pointing out a real disconnect between kids and the outdoors. When I was a kid I had tons of "indoor toys", but I still always had an itch to get outside.

It doesn't have to be a "green hour" in my opinion. I think an hour (or more) at a park or playground is just good as hiking of fishing. I think kids need to be outside, in their own heads, not worrying about a time limit or a coach holding them back or telling them how to goof off.

If you are looking for playgrounds, I recommend using the KaBOOM! Playspace finder. KaBOOM! is a non-profit that has been promoting the cause of play (example: leading communities to build new or fix old playgrounds) for over a decade.

Check it out!


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