…at the same time that we exclude mankind
from gathering berries in our field,
we exclude them from gathering
health and happiness and inspiration,
and a hundred other far finer and nobler fruits than berries,
which are found there….
-Henry David Thoreau
In case you didn’t know, we are in the midst of Take a Child Outside Week.
Children between the ages of 2 and 18 spend an average of 40 hours a week exposed to some sort of “screen media”- TV, video games, computer- outside of school hours.
That’s a full-time job!
A preschooler’s risk for obesity increases by 6%
for every hour of TV watched per day.
If there’s a TV in the child’s bedroom,
the odds jump an additional 31% for every hour watched.
-Susan Linn, “The Case for Make-Believe”
A preschooler’s risk for obesity. It sounds like an oxymoron.
Take a child outside. Don’t worry about planning things to do. Cassie’s favorite game is “scratch away at dirt with rocks and sing to yourself.” This will occupy her for the better part of an hour.
Cultivate their sense of beauty, their sense of wonder.
Help them to be a “contemplative observer”.
Take them to “the wonderful, deep, dark woodland- a cathedral of stillness and peace”.
Quiet, unstructured time outside naturally brings about creativity, empathy, movement, and curiosity.
And it’s time not spent in front of a screen!
It’s good for you, too. When will they start a week to “Take an Adult Outside”?