How can I prevent Nature Deficit Disorder in my kids?
- Understand What Drives Creativity
Studies show that nature fosters creativity and calms children struggling with information overload. Water, trees, bushes, flowers, woods, and streams are the best kind of toys because unlike action figures or collectables they can be anything.
- Allow for Controlled Risk
In a media-saturated culture where parents hear about a new child abduction almost everyday, how do we let our kids wander freely outside? Try going outside with your kids while also letting them experience unencumbered time to roam. Don’t forget to weigh the risk of what happens to a child’s imagination and inner life if we keep her indoors because we are afraid.
- Focus on Nature-Oriented Camps and Schools
Many parents enroll their kids in summer camps, many of which focus on technology and indoor classes. Before you sign your children up for computer summer school, consider camps that focus on unstructured time in the environment, where children are free to use all their senses and play as they wish.
- Schedule Outdoor Time
In a parenting culture chock-full of driving from one structured activity to another, it’s time to stop and literally smell the roses. If that means writing “gone outside” on the family calendar each week or (ideally) each day, then get that pen out! There are lots of great activities for getting outside, even in your own backyard.