It seems more so than ever that children have been spending an unprecedented amount of time with electronics and less with the more traditional play-time activities: arts and crafts, role-playing and exploring the outdoors.
An organization we recently stumbled upon here at My Wonderful World shows us, however, that it isn’t difficult to get kids off their PS3s and engaged and excited about other activities that can teach, enrich and entertain. Nature Rocks is a nation-wide program that works to inspire families to play and explore in nature. By providing supportive resources, Nature Rocks makes it much easier to have fun in the environment and to start connecting with others who want to do the same A visit to their website shows a wonderful interactive map, where you can enter your zip code and receive – a clickable list of several places in your area to “get your nature on.” The map is also connects you to a multitude of fun activities at each destination, such as hiking, canoeing, camping and horse back riding.
Supported by partners such as REI, The Nature Conservancy, and the Children and Nature Network, Nature Rocks wants to show America just how much nature truly “rocks,” and why you should get outside and explore it. We love what NatureRocks has got going on! So, for this week’s Five for Friday, we’ve excerpted their “Five reasons nature rocks” to show you all why you should really get out and experience your surroundings today:
1. Happier Children and Families: Nature turns frowns upside down. Studies indicate that children who play and explore outdoors are less stressed and may further benefit by learning confidence and social skills.
2. Healthier children and families: Get out with the bugs to prevent getting a bug. Nothing’s better at keeping away the bugs we don’t want than staying active. And nothing keeps kids active more than fun and interesting things to explore and do. Studies indicate that even as little as 30 minutes of activity a day will keep you healthy.
3. Smarter Children: Better focus without any hokus pokus! Nature has all sorts of patterns and parts. And all the parts somehow fit together. When children get to play in the outdoors from the earliest age, they learn – what is what, how things fit together, what they do.
4. It’s Free: Free is always a great price. Most activities you can do outside don’t cost a single penny. The outdoors can offer you your very own economic stimulus package. You want to make your dollar go the extra mile. What could be better than having a great time for free? There are more things you can do in and around your home and nearby that will fill your family’s days with great adventures.
5. Fun for the whole family: Activities in nature are something the whole family can enjoy. Whether the whole family, a grandparent and a grandchild, a dad or mother and a son or daughter, or others spend time outdoors, they may be changed in positive ways for ever.
Kirsten for My Wonderful World
Images courtesy The Daily Green, Nature Rocks