I just learned about something called “Take a Child Outside Week”. It’s this week (Sept. 24-30) and it’s designed to raise awareness about childhood obesity and children’s disconnection from nature. The idea is to get kids to play outside and explore the natural world more.
Of course it’s a bit sad that a designated week is even needed to motivate people to do something that used to come naturally for families. Increased screen time is just part of the reason for the move indoors. Lots of parents are afraid to allow their kids to venture too far from home. In some cases, their fear is warranted. In other cases moms and dads simply perceive their neighborhood to be more dangerous than it really is.
The woman who started “Take a Child Outside Week” is affiliated with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and her project has been getting lots of attention all over the United States. You can check out her website. I especially like the section about family outings, where posts are welcome about favorite activities.
I like that this is a week in which parents and others are invited to do something positive, as opposed to being told to stop doing something that’s not good for kids. I know that in my own workshops I find that sharing the benefits of TV-free parenting is better than dwelling on the negative effects of too much television.
Although it’s starting to rain here in Portland and elsewhere, I hope that won’t stop kids from getting to play outside this week, and every week of the year for that matter.