Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Benefits of giving kids time in the natural world

"Richard Louv, author of 'Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder', says the benefits of giving kids unstructured time in the natural world include reduced stress, increased creativity, sharper observation skills, a longer attention span, a better ability to cooperate, even a decrease in the signs and symptoms of ADD. Most important is the concept of wonder, says Louv, a visiting scholar at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

"Spirituality is anchored in wonder, he points out, and a sense of it in nature is a central building block of many of the world’s religions. 'What happens to the child’s spirit when he’s away from nature?' he asks."

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