Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Get outside and play, kids!

Did you know that 25% of 8-year-old kids can identify Pokemon™ characters more readily than wildlife species?  (Balmfold, Clegg, Coulson and Taylor 2002).  No offense to Pokemon, but what about giving some attention to the living characters that breath our air, share our soil and drink the water that our beautiful earth has to offer?  No time to take the kids out?  Well, what about the next time you head out to the grocery store (which can be as often as everyday, for some), stop at the local park to get some fresh air?  Better yet, when you get that frozen yogurt treat, bring it to the park and eat it there.  Bottom line - you have to make time.  I'm not saying you have to teach your kids all about the ants that are crawling along the sidewalk cracks and the night-time bats that swoop down for a drink from the pond, but since I mentioned it already, why not?  Getting kids engaged with nature is the perfect way to get them to go outside and get some exercise.  So here's what another study reports:  "Children are smarter, more cooperative (this is big!), happier and healthier when they have frequent and varied opportunities for free and unstructured play in the outdoors." (Children and Nature 2008).  Get 'em!

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