I have been reading an interesting book lately called Last Child in the Woods- Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. It is pretty interesting, though it reads quite like a textbook.
"A single sentence explains why Louv's book is so important:'Our children,' he writes,'are the first generation to be raised without meaningful contact with the natural world." This matters, and Last Child in the Woods makes it patently clear why and lays out a path back."
"Important and original....As Louv so eloquently and urgently shows, our mothers were right when they told us, day after day, "Go out and play.'"
-The Christian Science Monitor
I remember being told the exact same thing as a kid and I have many great memories of playing outside with friends and alone. It was expected and these days not so much. Kids are plugged in and tuned out to nature. My own children even would rather play video games than play outside and explore the acres of land we have. I have to drag them out into the woods, but once we are out there it's hard to get them back home. Once they are unplugged and outside it is so fun to watch their imaginations take over. No toys required, simple sticks and rocks are suddenly the best toys ever. Sticks become fairy houses and rocks become dragon eggs. Becca had a stick she used several days in a row and called it her adventure stick and Kenzie had a smaller one that was her adverture twig. So much fun!
The book was a reminder about how important it is to stay connected with nature both as kids and adults. As the book states, it is no coincidence that there has been a rise in obesity, attention deficit and depression as we, as a society become more disconnected with nature.
So get outside. Do it for yourself and your children!
I'll get off my soapbox now and share some pictures of some of our outdoor adventures.
If your gonna play near the water, eventually you've gotta go in right?
There are two smaller steams on the way to the river which we have named Kenzie Creek and Becca Brook. Kenzie used to be afraid to cross the logs on her own but after being left to explore on her own she began crossing on her own and went back and forth her confidence growing with each step. Within a 1/2 hour the girls had found a spot that they could jump across on their own and they were so proud of themselves and each other!
Boomer tries to steal Becca's 'adventure stick'.