A quick, if belated story, from my rather overburdened in-tray. Here we're catching up on the launch of the Nature Rocks campaign. This national program has as its aim "to inspire and empower families to play and explore in nature."
Why? Well, one reason is because, children who play and learn on a regular basis in the outdoors, are said take enhanced skills with them to school—and tend to have higher school achievement and test scores.
Aside from the growing body of scientific research indicating that kids who spend time outside are smarter, Nature Rocks also suggests they are happier, healthier. And as Nature Rocks exhorts "spending family time outside is easy, fun and free."
Nature Rocks is a program initiated by the Children & Nature Network and ecoAmerica. They've partnered with The Nature Conservancy, REI, the Flora Family Foundation, and the American Camp Association, who are helping support the intrastructure required to provide a website that lists over 100 inexpensive, and interesting outdoor activities. There is even a handy "find nature" feature , where by American parents can enter their zip code and obtain local details on "everything from parks to forests and more, plus locations offering nature tours, classes and even gear."
A study, the 2006 American Environmental Values Survey, (PDF) found that most Americans (92%) believe that children should spend more time outdoors. With the tools provided by Nature Rocks making that change is now as easy as falling off a log.
Photos: Nature Rocks
More Kids Connecting with Nature
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• How to Go Green: Outdoor Sports
• Nature Deficit Disorder Tackled at Camp Filled with Power Tools, Danger for Kids
• Military Kids Find Time at Camp A Cure for Nature Deficit Disorder
• What Do Robots, Sir David Attenborough and Kids have in Common?
• Scouting For Boys: All Time Best Selling Book Celebrates 100 Years of Being Outdoors
• Forest Service Takes Aim at Nature Deficit Disorder
• Environmental Education Boosted by House Committee Vote
• Outdoor Industry Pledges to Take Kids Back to Nature
• No Child Left Inside
• No Child Left Inside: Economist on National Parks
• No Child Left Inside Act of 2007