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Why Kids Need to Spend Time Outdoors

Does Your Child Suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder?


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  • We always played outside. We just put limits on device time
  • its up to the adults..we need to be outside too...and make sure they find things outside that they find fun
  • It's sad that our world is different now than it was when we were raising our children. However, I take my grandson & his friend's to the playground. We live in the country. It's a wonderful place to raise kids
  • Why do you think kids can't "free range" anymore? Exploring their neighborhood, community, etc is what makes being a kid a fun thing. I remember taking long, long bike rides to neighboring communities when I was a kid to check out their mill park or different playgrounds than the ones I was used to. Telling kids that they can no longer do those types of things just instills fear. Maybe make a family trip of it the first time if you are so afraid. But please, let kids be kids and explore their world.
  • Everyone needs time outdoors, not just kids!
  • I totally agree! I do worry about cars because, sadly, people aren't used to kids being outside & don't watch for them anymore (and my neighborhood has no sidewalks). There are also less kids outside for creeps to pick from, so mine have a better chance of being messed with by sickos (I had a family member get abducted by a stranger - luckily we got her back OK).

    Having said that, my kids play outside in the fenced yard almost daily (where I can see them). We also frequently go to playgrounds, parks, fishing, hiking, sledding, snowball fighting, etc! It gets me outdoors too and I feel safe being able to watch my's a win-win!
  • This is SO TRUE! Kids NEED to be outside to gain all the benefits cited in the article AND to ensure that they care about the environment!!
  • My kids grew up in a coastal Oregon town where they were lucky to have lots to do outdoors. We have parks, nature areas, beaches and lots more. They a very large part of their free time outdoors as did I when I was a child.
    "Those days are over". Who says? My neighbors and I routinely boot our kids out the door and expect them to play together, to ranger over the neighborhood, down the street (or across our little town) to the parks, and back again. We expect them to play Ghosts in the Graveyard, Freeze Tag, and Hide-and-Seek. We're a neighborhood with the young and the old in it--parental ages range from late teens to late fifties--no, those days aren't over...the only thing REALLY lacking is the type of parent it takes to let it go on.
  • Funny how I am always saying this, seems like kids stay indoors, they don't like nature, don't like dirt, bugs or mud. I would slowly die if I had to stay indoors, I hate my "work week" periods because there is only a minimum of outside time in those 3 nights, it makes me cranky and restless. Kids that play outside utilize imagination, get more physical activity, have better appetites for healthy foods. One of the sad things about today's families is that a majority of them do not know the joys of gardening. Tilling the earth, planting the seeds, harvesting the fruits and vegetables and placing them on the table can be a family project to get everyone outside and active, and provide a pride in the accomplishment.
    I totally agree with your point of view. Where I work as a teacher, no outdoor activity. It sort of disconnect the child from nature as you stated.
  • Getting outside isn't always easy but my husband and I try. I take my child bike-riding often;although finding a bike path that is safe for kids is a challenge. Once a week we go swimming. We also go to the local botanical garden where they have a wonderful children's garden. Star gazing through the museum is great night-time fun. We also light the fire pit outside and look for satellites!

    Even though I live next to a school, there really aren't any kids in our community for my daughter to play with. Usually, we have to schedule something in advance and drive. Many of the parents that I speak to also do this. Some they tell me that they have to do this in order to protect them from bad kids!
  • Why is free range play over? If the risks are down there should be no problem. My biggest fears letting my kids play outside on their own isn't stranger danger but whackos calling CAS or the police out of over concern, as has happened to far too many parents. Something is wrong when irrational fear is hurting our children's health!
    I purchased the book some years back and was blessed to be running a museum with a. NATURE PRESERVE and every week took our aftershocks students out on the trails. They loved it and learned so much!
  • I think children should play outside . It is heathly. When I was a child we had the biggest,level yard and all the kids all ages came down and we played kick ball. We had a little pond and a creek that ran through our yard, my cousins and I would wade the creek and pretend we were marimaids. The great outdoors can bring great imagination, and that is a good way of improving the brain power.It is healthly for children to get dirty. So I say get out and play. I think it is wonderful when schools have playgrounds,that might me the onlt chance some kids can go out and play. Hats off to the ones who help create, this areas at schools.

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