Nature is imperfectly perfect, filled with loose parts and possibilities, with mud and dust, nettles and sky, transcendent hands-on moments and skinned knees.
An indoor (or backseat) childhood does reduce some dangers to children; but other risks are heightened, including risks to physical and psychological health, risk to children's concept and perception of community, risk to self-confidence and the ability to discern true danger
Natural play strengthens children's self-confidence and arouses their senses-their awareness of the world and all that moves in it, seen and unseen.
The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.
An environment-based education movement--at all levels of education--will help students realize that school isn't supposed to be a polite form of incarceration, but a portal to the wider world.
The times I spent with my children in nature are among my most meaningful memories-and I hope theirs.
Use all of your senses.
There is another possibility: not the end of nature, but the rebirth of wonder and even joy.
Most people are either awakened to or are strengthened in their spiritual journey by experiences in the natural world.
By letting our children lead us to their own special places we can rediscover the joy and wonder of nature.
Studies of children in playgrounds with both green areas and manufactured play areas found that children engaged in more creative forms of play in the green areas.
All spiritual life begins with a sense of wonder, and nature is a window into that wonder.
In our bones we need the natural curves of hills, the scent of chaparral, the whisper of pines, the possibility of wildness.
The dugout in the weeds or leaves beneath a backyard willow, the rivulet of a seasonal creek, even the ditch between the front yard and the road-all of these places are entire universes to a young child.
This tree house became our galleon, our spaceship, our Fort Apache...Ours was a learning tree. Through it we learned to trust ourselves and our abilities.
Nature-the sublime, the harsh, and the beautiful-offers something that the street or gated community or computer game cannot. Nature presents the young with something so much greater than they are; it offers an environment where they can easily contemplate infinity and eternity.
Numerous studies document the benefits to students from school grounds that are ecologically diverse and include free play areas, habitats for wildlife, walking trails, and gardens.
Stress reduction, greater physical health, a deeper sense of spirit, more creativity, a sense of play, even a safer life-these are the rewards that await a family then it invites more nature into children's lives.
There is a real world, beyond the glass, for children who look, for those whose parents encourage them to truly see.
Research suggests that exposure to the natural world - including nearby nature in cities - helps improve human health, well-being, and intellectual capacity in ways that science is only recently beginning to understand.
Quite simply, when we deny our children nature, we deny them beauty.
To take nature and natural play away from children may be tantamount to withholding oxygen.
Nature is about smelling, hearing, tasting, seeing...
Increasingly the evidence suggests that people benefit so much from contact with nature that land conservation can now be viewed as a public health strategy.
A natural environment is far more complex than any playing field.
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