American children are supposedly spending four to seven minutes a day playing outdoors, down 90 per cent compared to their parents.
Vancouver author and President of Science World Scott Sampson explores the importance of free outdoor play for children’s development in his new book, How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature.
“Right now, kids—especially younger kids—are suffering from skyrocketing rates of obesity, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, depression, even such conditions as myopia that are caused by this indoor lifestyle that we’re leading,” Sampson told CBC. “Getting kids outdoors isn’t the panacea. It isn’t going to solve it all, but it’s a huge part of the solution.”
We already know about the benefits of exposure to vegetation for women, but how can it benefit your children?
Getting kids outside and connecting with nature helps to develop a child’s creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. In addition, creating a bond with nature can reduce bullying, help to fight illness, and boost academic scores.
“The best way to get kids outdoors is to take them there. If you’re not going to let your kids run around the neighbourhood all day on a Saturday, start doing something yourself that involves getting outdoors. If you start to value nature, kids will too…This goes for parents, teachers, and all caregivers.”
Looking for some ideas on how to get your children excited to play outside? Check out our top 10 tips.