In 2005, Richard Louv, cofounder of the Children & Nature Network, threw open screen doors and pointed to a vital element waning in the lives of modern children—nature. His book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, explained the societal costs of children spending less and less time outdoors. Obesity, depression, and attention disorders were all examined as possible problems stemming from children spending more time inside and connecting less with grass, trees, and dirt. Since then, continued research has explored the myriad physical, emotional, and behavioral benefits to children of free play in natural spaces.
In our article “N is for Nature” writer Jenna Samelson Browning introduces Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO), a group working with Colorado childcare centers to naturalize their playgrounds and plan educational programming around the new spaces. Read more about this initiative and why they are focusing on early childhood centers.
While we strive to find more time with grass and trees, there is no doubt that technology is now a fully ingrained part of our daily lives. To keep a good balance and create healthy online habits for your family, check out “Before You Post”. You’ll find expert tips as well as technology guidelines being used by local families.
And speaking of healthy habits, it can be a challenge to maintain a healthy workout schedule when your family schedule gets packed. Local mom and creator of The Mama Sagas, Saralyn Ward gathered a list of creative ways for parents to squeeze in a workout even if they can’t make it to the gym.
This issue also includes a roundup of places where kids can learn to knit, Dr. Seuss-themed products just in time to celebrate his birthday, a visit to Family Winter Mountaineering and Backcountry Weekend, and more.