- Published on Wednesday, 14 April 2010 12:51
Summer is approaching and your kids would benefit greatly from additional outdoor play time. Susan Carney states:
Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods (Workman Publishing, 2005), makes the case that many children today suffer from what he refers to as “nature deficit disorder.” He coins this phrase to describe a generation of kids that has limited contact with the natural world due to a variety of factors.
It is now 2010 and nothing has changed since the printing of that book. Children are still spending less and less time outdoors as electronic devices are created, updated and promoted by the media.
As parents, we are in charge of the activities our children participate in and the time they spend in front of screens; whether they be large or small (TV, laptop, hand-held). Parenting experts often encourage parents to give their children plenty of outdoor time.
There are numerous reasons for this:
---> Fresh air is good for brain development
---> Running and skipping are good for the heart
---> Sunshine provides vitamin D - a natural anti-depressant
---> Exploration of nature enhances problem solving skills
---> Collecting rocks/leaves/pinecones is a safe activity
---> Nature encourages looking/seeing/touching/examining/questions
---> Shapes can be found...all around!
My children love going for walks. We try to take them on walks at least twice a week. They have the route memorized now and my daughter knows that she can find shapes in various locations.
She will run ahead and yell out:
----> "Look! It's a round blue shape on the tree!" (reflector)
----> "Look mom and dad! It's a square box!" (cable box)
----> "Look! There's a triangle!" (roof top)
----> "Look! Look! It's an OCTAGON! I love octagons!" (stop sign)
She does love octagons. Everywhere we go she points out the stop signs and re-informs us that octagons are her very, very, very favorite shape.
Give it a try with your kids or students. Go for a SHAPES walk and see what shapes you can find!