Just one Example: In the UK, David Derbyshire researched the “range” of 4 generations of youth in one family and mapped the various playscapes. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=462091&in_page_id=1770
Shrinking Playscapes Today’s children have a more restricted range in which they can play freely; they have fewer playmates who are less diverse, and are more home centered than any previous generation (Karsten, 2005) Percent of children who live within in a mile of school and who walk or bike to school has declined 25% in the past 30 years (CDC, 2006) Perception of Safety 82% of mothers with children between 3-12 cited crime and safety concerns as one of the primary reasons they do not allow their children to play outdoors (Clement, 2004) 94% of parents say safety is their biggest concern when making decisions about whether to allow their children to engage in free play in the out-of-doors (Bagley, Ball, and Salmon, 2006) Reduced Time Outside Children’s free play and discretionary time has declined mor than seven hours a week from 1981 to 1997 and an additional 2 hrs from 1997 to 2003 (Hofferth and Sandberg, 2001; Hofferth and Curtin, 2006) Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation (Clement, 2004) Technology Children between the ages of six moth and six years spsend an average of 1.5 hours/day with electronic media; Youth between 8 and 18 spend an average of 6.5 hours/day with electronic media – that is more than 45 hours a week – equivalent to a full-time job! (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005 and 2006) Physical activity 62% of children do not participate in any organized physical activity and 23% do not participate in any free-time physical activity (CDC, 2003) Only 22% of children report they walk or ride their bike to school (compared to 71% of adults who report they did when they were young (Beldon Russonello and Steward Research and Communication, 2003) Obesity Obesity in children has increased from about 4% in 1960 to close to 20% in 2004 (CDC, 2006) Freedom/Autonomy Only about 3% of children today have a high degree of mibility and freedom in how and where they play (Tandy, 1999), compared to previous generations, children today predominately play at home, with their activities monitored and controlled by adults. Low Ecoliteracy Children can identify 25% more Pokemon characters than wildlife species at 8 years old (Balmfold, Clegg, Coulson, and Taylor, 2002).
Physical/Mental health Green spaces help you live longer (Tokyo Medical and Dental School)…and are essential to human health (Kuo, 2010; Godbey, 2009) Contact with natural world reduces symptoms of ADD (Kuo and Taylor, 2004) Green plants and vistas reduce stress (Wells, 2000) Outdoor experiences for teens result in enhanced self-esteem, self-confidence, independence, autonomy and initiative (Kellert and Derr, 1998) Growth and Development In learning to garden, as children develop cognitive abilities but also, their perceptions of their gardens change; they assign meaning to their gardens. (Eberbach, 1987-88) Nature stimulates powers of observation, creativity, and sense of peace (Crain) Student Achievement Proximity to, views of, and daily exposure to natural settings increases children’s ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities (Wells, 2000) Schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of nature-based experiential education produce significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, math (American Institutes for Research, 2005) Lower violence and aggression Levels of aggression and violence were significantly lower among inner city residents who had some nature outside their urban dwelling (Kuo, Sullivan, 2001) Residents who live in greener surroundings freport lower levels of fear, fewer incivilities, and less agfressive and violent behaviors (Kuo, Sullivan, 2001) Cooperation and collaboration When give choice of green areas and manufactured play areas, children engage in more creative forms of play and play more cooperatively in green areas Greater Sense of Place Urban residences with more vegetation know their neighbors more, socialize with them more, and have stronger feeling of community (Kuo, Sullivan, Coley, Brunson, 2002) Place attachments are important to children’s sense of well-being (Jack, 2010) Mentorships Positive, direct experience outdoors with someone close (parent, gparent, guardian) contribute to later environmental action (Chawla, 2006)
Rx Play Let’s Move 5 steps for parents, schools, community leaders, kids, heath care providers Parents – put fruit in easy reach, walk after dinner, turn off TV and share family time Kids – move every day, eat healthy, plant a garden World Forum Foundation Toolkit for Families –Stewardship Themes: Plants, Air, Water, Soil, Energy, Animals/Insects, Human Health Toolkit for Educators – Rainbow on my Plate activities, Plant a rainbow container garden Colorado Communities Toolkit Colorado Bill of Rights! Raise Awareness Host a Parent-Child Outdoor Skills Workshop Take Story time Outside TV-Turnoff Week Participate in a National Get Outdoors Day Create wildzones PIN Experience Landscapes Community and regional partnerships, planning and implementation Collaborative problem solving
Attunement play Engages or ‘attunes’ the right cerebral cortex (that organizes emotional control) of the brain – right brain and affect/emotion Eg: mother and child make eye contact; radiant smile (joy) Body Play and Movement Involves self-movement (locomotion and rotational activities) and individual’s knowledge of the world – how we learn about our world through movement and play Innovation, flexibility, adaptability, resilience all have their roots in movement Exploratory body movements sculpt the brain and read the player for unexpected or unusual. Object Play – Quiet Book Example Manipulating objects helps the brain develop and enriches the circuits of the brain Currently studying: A deficiency in fixing things by hand during one’s youth, may result in deficiencies in complex problem solving in challenging work settings as a adult. Social Play Romping, wrestling, and banter among friends Currently studying: early parent-infant play to better understand signals that herald and maintain social play – e.g., a play face, body language, Types of plan: play and belonging (developes friendship, empathy, loyalty and affection), rough and tumble play (cooperation, fairness, social awareness), and celebratory play (rituals) Imaginative and Pretend Play Ability to young children to create their own sense of their mind; pretend paly Key to innovation and creativity; helps us learn to understand and trust others and to develop coping skills Storytelling-Narrative Play It is our capacity to produce a sense of timeleness, pleasure, and an altered state of vicarious invovlement How we make sense of the world, its various parts and our place in it – helps us understand ourselves and others Stories give us permission to expand our inner stream of consciousness But what about role of TV – kids are hearing stories of violence, etc…. Transformative-Integrative and Creative Play Fantasy play that transcend the reality of our ordinary lives Where we access novelty and spontaneity Important to adaptation in a changing world
Nature Deficit Disorder: Research, Trends and Hopeful Signs
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KIDS AND NATURE 2009: California develops the ...A SHORT HISTORY first Children’s Bill of Rights 2009-10: Colorado Lt. Gov completes 2005-2007: statewide listening 2008: NPS, USFS, Google hits on session; proposed other federal and “nature deficit Colorado Children’s state agencies disorder” go from Bill of Rights2005: Richard Louv acknowledge Kids 2009: Colorado 0 to 1 million and Naturepublishes, Last Child State SCORPin the Woods: Saving acknowledges Kidsour Children from 2007: and NatureNature Deficit NationalDisorder Children and 2010: President’s Nature 2009: First America’s Great 2006: Richard Network Colorado Kids Outdoors Louv speaks in established. Outdoors Day acknowledges Fort Collins; held in Denver Kids and Nature Children and Nature Connect – 2008: Colorado Northern Kids Outdoors 2010: GoCo Colorado formed. (Denver) formed Strategic Plan 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
CHILDREN AND NATURE CONNECTION We envision aNORTHERN COLORADO community that collaborates enthusiastically to promote meaningful relationships between children and nature. 1. Build Awareness 2. Build Capacity 3. Reduce Barriers
QUICK SUMMARY OF RESEARCH ANDPROGRESS• Indicators of Nature Deficit Disorder• Benefits of Nature• Some Emerging Ideas• The Nature of Play• Needed Evidence (Outcomes and Impact)
How Children Lostthe Right to Roamin Four GenerationsBy David DerbyshireJune 15, 2007
WHAT THE RESEARCH INDICATESIndicators of NDD•Playscapes•Safety•Time outside•Technology•Physical activity and health•Obesity•Freedom and autonomy•Low eco-literacy
WHAT THE RESEARCH INDICATESBenefits of Nature and Play•Physical and mental health•Growth and Development•Student achievement•Lower violence and aggression•Cooperation and collaboration•Greater Sense of Place•Mentorship
EMERGING IDEASHealth Programs • Rx Play • Let’s MovePlethora of Other ProgramsToolkits • World Forum Foundation Toolkits • Colorado Communities ToolkitRegional Planning • Plug into Nature • Experience Landscapes
NATURE OF PLAY (Stuart Brown)Patterns of Play•Attunement Play•Body Play and Movement•Object Play•Social Play•Imaginative and Pretend Play•Storytelling-Narrative Play•Transformative-Integrative and CreativePlay
Helpful Resources:Children and Nature Network (www.chidrenandnature.org)National Institute for Play (www.nifplay.org)Parents’ Guide to Nature Play (www.greenheart.org)Exercise is Medicine (www.exerciseismedicine.org)Let’s Move (www.letsmove.gov/outside)Nature Rocks (www.naturerocks.org) Remember… we don’t want to be the last generation for whom playing outside was normal.