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Nature Deficit Disorder, Why Kids Need Nature

sneakin' in
Creative Commons License photo credit: post_man

Didn’t realize initially during our now “regular” walks in the forest of Pau on how therapeutic nature is for kids.  I remember hearing about a well-known book called “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder” by Richard Louv, a child advocacy expert.  He links the lack of children’s contact with nature to attention deficit disorder, obesity and other childhood problems.

I was reflecting on this book while walking in the woods with my kids and watching them interact with NATURE.  We had only an hour to walk because the sun was going to set soon.  What happened?  We didn’t walk very far…and that was marvelous.  There were huge tree trunks to balance on and walk down; there were sticks to push around in the small pools of water; there were bugs to catch; wierd plants to touch.  In too short of a time we had to turn around to head back.  One of my children actually NEEDS nature…has always been that way.  Being in the woods calms her, frees her and stimulates her creativity.  When this child was little, time outs in her room never worked…her time outs were always outside;  and this worked to calm her down.

I haven’t read the book by Richard Louv on nature deficit disorder, but I can see first hand the true benefits for children to have contact with the outdoors.  Do any of your children have this NEED to touch nature like one of my kids does?  How do you help them reach this need?  Would love to hear from you…and until then-we are off to discover the woods again.

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