Saturday, October 4, 2008

Make Tracks!™ Family Trail Weekend!

Make Tracks!™ Family Trail Weekend!

I find it truly sad that we have to encourage our families to go outside for a short hour.
a Kaiser Family Foundation study found that the average American child spends 44 hours per week (more than 6 hours a day!) staring at some kind of electronic screen. Studies have linked excessive television viewing to obesity, violence, and even lower intelligence in kids. Now, a growing wave of research indicates that children who spend time outdoors are healthier, overall, than their indoor counterparts.

Children who regularly spend unstructured time outside:
Play more creatively
Have lower stress levels
Have more active imaginations
Become fitter and leaner
Develop stronger immune systems
Experience fewer symptoms of ADD and ADHD
Have greater respect for themselves, for others, and for the environment
The National Wildlife Federation recommends that parents give their kids a "Green Hour" every day, a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. This can take place in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street, or any place that provides safe and accessible green spaces where children can learn and play.

To give parents and caregivers the information, tools, and inspiration to get their kids -- and themselves -- outside, NWF has created GREENHOUR.ORG, a website rich in family-friendly content and which hosts a supportive virtual community where families can learn, explore, and share their outdoor experiences and backyard adventures.

That 6 hours a day chained to an electronic media item shocked me. It made me realize, yet again, how far out of the mainstream we are. Our kids go days at a time with no electronic media input, Often the only screen time they get is school related screen time.

Where are you going to walk/ride for your outside next week? Marc and I will be in DC so the kids will have to rely on Loraina to take them to a trail. They love going to First Landing State Park. I need to check if dogs are welcome. I'll bet the pups will love going there for a walk.

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