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The Wonder of Outdoor Play

Richland Academy / Making Learning Visible  / The Wonder of Outdoor Play

The Wonder of Outdoor Play

There has been much written about today’s child not having enough time outdoors, free to explore, wonder and play within nature’s beauty.  We know that young children learn through the sounds, scents, and seasons of the outdoors.

Richard Louv states and dialogues about the facts in his presentations and in his work that, “the children and nature movement is fueled by this fundamental idea. The child in nature is an endangered species, and that the health of children and the health of the Earth are virtually inseparable.”
One of the most important developments has been the growing number of individual parents and other family members who have decided to do what it takes to bring nature into their lives, and keep it there. Louv goes onto share that, “the power of this movement lies in that sense, that special place in our hearts, those woods where the bulldozers cannot reach. Developers and environmentalists, corporate CEOs and college professors, rock stars and ranchers, may agree on little else, but they agree on this. No one among us wants to be a member of the last generation to pass on to our children the joy of playing outside in nature.”

Reconnecting Children and Nature

Traditionally, nature has served as humanity’s greatest teacher, the place where artists, poets and scientists go for inspiration. The natural world has the ability to draw us in and allow us to experience this unique and fulfilling sense of wonder.“What we want for our children is a sense of interdependency with the natural world, so their roots are organic instead of mechanistic, like computers.” Sobel says.

“Children are supposed to be outside, as their language develops better. Kids develop a greater array of movement patterns, while engaged in outdoor activities.” Being in nature provides a setting to encourage children’s minds to relax, refresh and find inner peacefulness. Upon reflection, it seems to be quite a simple solution. Get children outside more often, so that they can discover the wonderment and adventure of the natural world. We need to create outdoor enthusiasts at a young age. This in turn will enhance their appreciation of the natural world.Getting outdoors to build snowmen in the snow, taking long walks in the woods, finding stones or shells on the beach or going for a skiing adventure, all are some examples of engaging outdoors with your children. Children need to deeply connect with nature when they are young, to develop a sense of accountability and stewardship for our planet. Our Richland children are richly designated as the stewards of the future.

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