Do you feel wonder when you stare at an iPhone screen? Is there a sense of awe when you conquer the next level of a video game? Do you go to bed feeling gloriously exhausted, but immensely fulfilled and hopeful at the end of your day? When you’re a kid, shouldn’t all those feelings be part of your daily existence? Requirements, really.
I know I couldn’t greet each day with a smile — without looking forward to the wonder, awe, and a sense of fulfillment and hope I get from my time in nature. And I’m not even hard core. Some days my nature is spotting a white egret flying across the bluest sky. Sometimes my nature is sitting on the grass in the sunshine for a few moments. Other days it’s taking the kids to the creek and letting them get their shoes wet. Or spending hours with them collecting just the perfect rocks at the beach – and then leaving them there for the next child to discover.
My kids don’t need screens in their day. It’s not a necessity for their well-being. But time outdoors? That’s necessary. Nature is a bigger and better playground than anything humans can create to entertain us.
There is plenty of time in their lives to catch up on technology. But childhood? They only get one shot at that!
I want their childhood to be full of WONDER, AWE, FULFILLMENT AND HOPE to set a foundation for the rest of their lives.
- *The Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
- *The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
- *Research supporting a child’s time in nature at the Children and Nature Network
See what’s happening globally with some perspective on saving children’s relationship with the outdoors from the National Trust in the UK:
Michele Whiteaker promotes play on her FunOrangeCountyParks.com blog where you can find all sorts of natural places to go play in Orange County!