Many children in this country have lost all understanding that they are part of nature and are connected to nature.We live so fearfully that children will be nabbed or will get hurt that we keep them inside and away from danger. But ultimately we are harming them far worse by robbing them of the experiences that can only be found outside in nature.
“To become stronger adults, kids need to be outside and allow their bodies to do what they’ve been designed for from the beginning. – Kacie Flegal, a chiropractor in Ashland, Ore., who specializes in pediatrics.
In college I studied Ornithology because I was obsessed with the film maker Peter Greenaway. His film A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist change my view of birds, film making and visual experiences.
Some of Greenaway’s other best-known films include: The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982), A Zed & Two Noughts (1985), The Belly of an Architect (1987), Drowning by Numbers (1988), and his most successful (and controversial) film, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) also include references to Ornithology, birds and nature.
As a parent this has me thinking about sharing a love for birds with my children and if I want to get them outside to listen more I can start with the sound of various songbirds. Doing this can really can teach a child about the diversity of the natural world.
Once you spend time outside listing for birds why not get creative? Set up an outdoor creativity studio where you can build and make things! Go grab these Free plans to build a birdhouse for your own back yard from Ana White
While building your bird house listen to some classic music inspired by birds.
This week I am kicking off a summer long series inspired by our love of STEAM and nature. I will focus on all kinds of ways to get kids out of the house and off of their tech this summer. It can be hard for working parents to take kids out so I am going to give examples of quick walks, small container planting, and ‘gulp’ . . . unsupervised play.
Want to get started with planning to keep you kids from getting Nature-Deficit Disorder this summer? Start here and read Richard Louv‘s book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
From the book:
“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” reports a fourth-grader. Never before in history have children been so plugged in-and so out of touch with the natural world. In this groundbreaking new work, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation-he calls it nature deficit-to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as rises in obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder (Add), and depression. Some startling facts: By the 1990s the radius around the home where children were allowed to roam on their own had shrunk to a ninth of what it had been in 1970. Today, average eight-year-olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than native species, such as beetles and oak trees, in their own community. The rate at which doctors prescribe antidepressants to children has doubled in the last five years, and recent studies show that too much computer use spells trouble for the developing mind. Nature-deficit disorder is not a medical condition; it is a description of the human costs of alienation from nature. This alienation damages children and shapes adults, families, and communities. There are solutions, though, and they’re right in our own backyards. Last child in the Woods is the first book to bring together cutting-edge research showing that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development-physical, emotional, and spiritual. What’s more, nature is a potent therapy for depression, obesity, and Add. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Even creativity is stimulated by childhood experiences in nature.
Outdoor Dance Party!
Let’s make this the summer of outdoor play and exploration. We need more scientists and engineers and artists who are inspired by nature. The Children and Nature Movement is forming – Want to know more about how you can get involved? Click HERE