When Kids Connect to Nature, Benefits Abound

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Article written by Sally Shuffield

During times of uncertainty, it is essential to recognize the constants that provide joy and groundedness to transcend politics.

Studies have shown that a connection between children and nature is one of the essential components to a brighter future. In fact, it has been shown that this connection may be one of the key factors in improving public health, education and economics as well as human happiness.

Many will remember the groundbreaking book by Richard Louv published in 2005, Last Child in the Woods. This book focused on what has been termed “nature-deficit disorder” and the effect it is having on children growing up today. Nature-deficit disorder was found to be a contributing factor to many problems affecting children, from obesity to attention deficit disorder to depression.

The benefits of being in nature are enormous and include increased imagination, problem-solving skills, self-confidence and the ability to focus. Another study shows that children who are in nature each day are more physically active, more aware of nutrition and are more civil to each other. And, on top of all this, children who are involved in environmental education programs increase their science testing scores by 27 percent. These attributes are certainly needed for the future of our country.

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