I’m in the middle of occasionally reading The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, and even as a former environmental educator and teacher, I find it very eye opening. Almost as soon as I cracked the book, I started taking my girls outside more in the afternoons when I get home from teaching.
Sometimes they don’t want to go outside. They are cozy and happy inside. But then I say something like, “Let’s go on an adventure! Let’s find a secret spot in the woods!” and they flock to the door quickly. It’s all in the presentation as a parent, isn’t it?
The Last Child in the Woods points out the many emotional and physical benefits for children given large amounts of unstructured time outdoors. There are many studies to support this, and the author even points out links to ADD, depression, and anxiety from our screen and sedentary culture.
So, how can you motivate your kids to go outside, and what can you do? Read more...