Wednesday, January 21, 2015

PA Land Trust Assn: New Guide On The Importance Of Child-Nature Connections

Most adults today remember spending a great deal of time outdoors as a child.  
Up until just a few decades ago, children went outdoors every day, regardless of weather, exploring the natural world without adult interference. Imagination and appropriate attire was all that was required and the children defined the rules of nature play.
Today, nature play is essentially gone. Does its loss really matter? In a word: yes. It’s likely impossible to replace the cognitive growth benefits of frequent, spontaneous, nature-based childhood play.
Nature play is also likely important for the achievement of conservation: It is human nature to want to protect what we love; nature play fosters emotional connection to the outdoors, which can result in a life-long appreciation of nature.
This publication explores the benefits of nature play and, with a sense of urgency, details the ways in which individuals and organizations can help to restore nature play to childhood.
“For generations, children have played outdoors and found wonder and enjoyment in their natural world. Today, there’s an epidemic of what author Richard Louv calls nature deficit disorder,” explained Andy Loza, PALTA executive director.  “This guide is intended to empower and engage individuals, nonprofits, schools, local governments and others interested in re-establishing the essential bond between children and nature.”
A copy of the publication is available online.  Hard copies may be requested by calling 717-909-1298.

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