27 March 2009

A call for the great outdoors

The outdoors is fast becoming a theme here is it not?

After spending two weeks in Australia I am realising how much we are missing easy access -for both climatic and geographical reasons - to the outdoors. In a land where backyards are bigger and it only takes a hat and sunscreen to dress for the occasion, leaving the house to play outside can happen many times a day. Of course, there is no lack of the nature in Canada. I have just been having trouble easing into it.

And then. the ever inspirational Miss J made a note on her website Urban Preschool, of the work of Richard Louv.. I have now been given the extra push I needed to get outside.

Richard Louv is the author of Last Child in the Woods.

In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

I am yet to get my hands on a copy. But his blog is fascinating.

So today, we got out there. It took a little more dressing for the weather. But a quick drive up the road had us in the thick of a forest with waterfalls to gaze at, rocks and roots and logs to scramble over, and mud puddles to squelch in. The boys were in heaven. And I was having too much fun to stop for photographs! And we all came home in a better mood. Honestly.

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