|“I like to
play indoors better ’cause
that’s where all the electrical outlets are,”
reports a fourth grader.
But it’s not only computers, television, and video games that
kids inside. It’s also their parents’ fears of
traffic, strangers, Lyme
disease, and West Nile virus; their schools’ emphasis on more
homework; their structured schedules; and their lack of access to
areas. Local governments, neighborhood associations, and even
devoted to the outdoors are placing legal and regulatory constraints on
many wild spaces, sometimes making natural play a crime.
connections to nature
diminish and the social, psychological, and spiritual implications
apparent, new research shows that nature can offer powerful therapy for
such maladies as depression, obesity, and attentiondeficit disorder.
education dramatically improves standardized test scores and
averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and
decision making. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that childhood
in nature stimulate creativity.
Child in the Woods,
Louv talks with parents, children, teachers, scientists, religious
child-development researchers, and environmentalists who recognize the
threat and offer solutions. Louv shows us an alternative future, one in
which parents help their kids experience the natural world more deeply
— and find the joy of family connectedness in the process.
Child in the
from Nature-Deficit Disorder
Chapel Hill, 2005
in The Nature Pages