Unstructured outside time for exploration, imagination and child directed activity is important and valuable. It leads to development in cognition, emotional, social and physical skills. It has also been demonstrated to reduce stress and foster creativity.
Children today create these imaginary experiences electronically, but have limited exposure to nature in the real world. The need is urgent to reverse the growing trend to disassociate our children from the great outdoors. While creative computer games certainly play a part in the lifestyle of today’s children, the wonder that we all experienced as children has been lost to this generation of youth.
Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights
- Camp under the stars
- Catch and release fish, frogs and insects
- Celebrate the natural environment
- Climb a tree
- Discover prairies, dunes, forests, savannas and wetlands
- Explore nature in neighborhoods and cities
- Follow a trail
- Plant a flower
- Play in the mud