Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Raise a Wild Child!

I thought this book and concept would interest some of my readers.  -- Gene
From the beloved host of PBS Kids’ Dinosaur Train, an easy-to-use guide for parents, teachers, and others looking to foster a strong connection between children and nature, complete with engaging activities, troubleshooting advice, and much more.
From the introduction of the book – “My outdoor experiences mimicked those of many other 1960s and 70s children. Baby boomers like me love to wax nostalgic about being kicked outdoors after school, returning only at dark, often in response to a parent yelling for them to come home. We talk of weekends and holidays full of nature roaming, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, but always autonomous.
Few twenty-first-century kids can cite similar experiences. During the past generation, childhood has undergone a profound and, until recently, largely ignored transformation. One study found that the average American boy or girl spends four to seven minutes a day outdoors. Another placed the estimate at about 30 minutes of daily, unstructured, outdoor play . Whatever the actual number is, it seems pretty clear that children today spend a small fraction of the time playing outdoors that their their parents did as kids.
By comparison, those same average American kids spend more than seven hours daily staring at screens, replacing reality with virtual alternatives. Most boys rack up over 10,000 gaming hours before age 21. Children can now recognize more than 1,000 corporate logos, but fewer than ten plants native to their region. The net result of these staggering statistics is what author Robert Michael Pyle has dubbed “the extinction of experience,” highlighted by the gaping chasm between children and nature.”
From the website:
Become a Nature Mentor!
Become a Hummingbird Parent -- This means giving kids space and autonomy to take risks, staying on the periphery sipping nectar most of the time and zooming in only when necessary.
Questioning -- One of the most essential roles of a nature mentor is Questioner. After kids spend time outdoors, ask them what happened.
Free Play Rules! -- Carve out some regular time for the children in your life to engage in unstructured play, with a portion of it outdoors.
Venture into the Bubble -- An essential ingredient of nature connection is learning to see animals, plants, and other life forms as subjects rather than objects.
Start Sit Spotting -- Find a place in or adjacent to a natural (or seminatural) setting where you can sit and observe.
Check out this website for more information on getting your child outside!