Tuesday, June 1, 2010

About Last Child in the Woods

Find your favorite tree stump and pull out your copy of June's Featured Book of the Month, Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.

The author contends that today's children, unlike children a mere thirty years ago, are dangerously deprived of exposure to nature, the thing that inspires, teaches and gives us comfort. Gated communities, obsession with electronic technology, and changing standards in education are just some things that distract our children from their "eighth intelligence" and creativity.

Louv includes some great quotes and stories from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Beatrix Potter, Mark Twain, and Thomas Edison that credit their early curiosities to time spent in wood and field. And it’s certainly interesting to ponder what role the natural world played in our own childhoods and how it shaped our adult pursuits.

Is nature inaccessible to today’s children?
Can we go back to nature? How?
Or is nature even important anymore?

The author, a former journalist, offers up research from environmentalists and educators that lays bare the reasons for reconnecting, rebuilding, rethinking, and redesigning our relationships with the outdoors.

There are suggested actions to take and activities to pursue with kids. Who knows, maybe we can go back to Walden! What do you think?

Written by Bob


Ben said...

Cincinnati is fortunate not only to have pockets of undeveloped land - empty lots and small corners of neglected (in a good way) land, but also an enviable park system. The lovely thing about the parks I've visited is that they are not like some described in the book: flat, sterile expanses of playing fields. Burnett Woods, for example, is a perfect place for undirected play - catching tadpoles, fishing, hiking through the woods. I'm curious where things stand after last year's Leave No Child Inside initiative. I'd be interested in joining or starting a kid's nature club, and was hoping that something already existed...but where? And who's involved?

Anonymous said...

The Environmental Education Council of Ohio has links to several programs throughout the state. (http://www.eeco-online.org/index.html) There are also nature programs for kids at the Gorman Heritage Farm in Evendale. http://www.gormanfarm.org/