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Overcoming "Nature Deficit Disorder"

image of a smiling young boy holding a small reptile

Children today are not spending time as much time outside as previous generations. This reduced time outdoors has negative implications for children's mental, physical, and emotional health, and for their success in school. It also has implications for their desire to protect the environment.

Understanding Nature Deficit Disorder

The costs of nature deficit include diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses, a rising rate of myopia, child and adult obesity, and other maladies.

Read the article from Network Ireland

Overcoming Nature Deficit Disorder

Exposure to nature can reduce stress , anxiety, depression, and attention-deficit disorders. Physical activity and unstructured play can greatly improve health and learning skills.

Article: Fear of Nature Has Lots of Company Article: Close the Gap Between Kids and Nature Article: Ten Actions Parents Can Take Children & Nature Network

Spend Time in Nature

Nature is not a destination. It can be as close as your own backyard, a city park, or a woodlot. Children connect with nature when they get outside on a regular, sustained basis. Discovery and exploration will feed their sense of wonder.

Article Collection: Your Backyard (toward bottom of page) Infographic: Health Benefits of Nature for Kids

Where to Go and What to Do

Outdoors is a big place and if you are lucky enough to live in the Pacific Northwest or the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands, the hard part is deciding which wonderful place to go. Below is a link to a few places to get you started. Then, turn away from the screens and get outside!

Find Your Next Adventure
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