How cool would it be to jump out of a mock airplane, look up under a parachute, watch a ladybug eating a blade of grass, or dissect an owl pellet?
How about if you could learn to draw a flower, break open a pinecone to see the nuts inside, or track an elk that just walked past, would you do it? Being outdoors for just a little while to reflect, calm yourself or your parents, do you want to try it? What about running around, twirling and hopping in the air, breathing in the fresh earth, pine, and flowers, would that interest you?
Getting outside is getting harder as more people (both children and adults) cannot seem to let go of their electronics. Children watch their parents struggle to let go, watch them with their “toys” and want them as well. And after asking time and time again, the parents ultimately give in. At least that is what the author thinks in a recent Washington Post article. You are to believe it is progress and we cannot change it.
However, an article in the New York Times gives some hope to the mad stampede towards individual devices and online content at a child’s expense.
California state legislators passed a law prohibiting educational websites, applications (apps), and cloud services from selling or disclosing personal information about students from kindergarten through high school; using that information to market to them, and compiling files on them.
Parents’ worry about the information stored about their children, from sensitive information like learning disabilities, disciplinary problems, or family trauma.
There is hope as more teachers, educators, parents, and children decide to learn about nature, science, and the great outdoors. When you watch a child go outside, you see an exuberance and happiness. A sense of discovery for the first time and an excitement you do not find in an indoor setting.
How can you and your children experience the outdoors, especially if you have not been in a while? One suggestion would be to start slow, and go outside for 10 to 15 minutes a day. No matter what the weather, have everyone put on the proper clothes for the weather, and expect to get dirty.
An idea to start out:
- Sit in the grass or dirt in your yard.
- Are there any insects or bugs around?
- What are they doing? Watch and record where they are going.
- Do this for a week and see if your family can figure out the day of the life of that insect.
- Write a story about the insect.
- While outside, read that story to the insect.
At the end of the week, see how you feel about the outdoors. Do you want to do more? Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about getting outside.
Please like and share this article with your friends and family.
© 2014 Laura Jevtich for Yellowstone Nature Connection, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to outdoor education for those wanting to connect to nature.