Children and Nature(1 Post)
What's happened to Wild Time?
The lack of outdoor play, learning and nature connection in childhood is a deeply held systemic problem. When I was a child I was always playing outdoors. Okay that was in the 70s and iPads and HD TVs didn't exist, but over the years multiple barriers have been imposed on childhood; they are complex and inter-linked but their impact is profound. There is lots of evidence that shows how a life without time outdoors in nature has significant impacts on the physical and mental wellbeing of children as well as their willingness to care for and protect the environment as they grow.
Research shows the main reasons are:
* Stranger danger
* Risk-averse culture
* Danger streets
* Too many cars
* Time poor parents
* Nature Starved curriculum
* Lack of free-range play
*Vanishing green space
*Play has become a commodity to sell
*Rise of screen time
As Mindful parents and grandparents we owe it to the next generation to champion and support connections with nature and wildness in children and young people. Encourage children to roam free, play wild and connect with nature. Speak up to ensure all children have the right to access the outdoors for play, learning, expression and - ultimately - the development of a healthy mind and body.
Set an example to encourage, provoke, nudge, support and inspire children and young people to get up and get outside:
To wander freely
To look up and around
To find wonder, awe and empathy in all life
To nurture, steward and protect
To run, jump, climb, crawl and explore the world on our doorsteps
To seek imagination in wildness
To find inventiveness in the woods
To grow happy healthy minds and bodies
To find comfort in solitude
To become truly connected
Roam Free and Play Wild.
If you agree with me and would like to support the campaign to rewild our children - Come along for the screening of an important film Project Wild Thing that's being screened at the Gloucester Guildhall on Saturday 23rd July and find out more.
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