Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Let's Get Outside!

The Children & Nature Network is making April Let's G.O. (Get Outside)! month.

The goal of Let’s G.O.! events is to bring together intergenerational groups of people to get outside together to be active, have fun and connect with nature.
The nearest event to us is a Spring Festival at the Shipley Nature Center in Huntington Beach. It's coming up this Saturday, April 30th, from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Children & Nature Network is chaired by Richard Louv, the author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. I heard about this book long before the wee bairn was a glimmer in my eye and immediately filed it under things to be neurotic about once a parent. Neurosis or no, there's a lot of evidence to support the idea that children's health benefits from contact with the outdoors and nature (here's a PDF full of them).

Then I started following The Boy's Almanac, a blog by "two mothers constantly striving to maintain a wild, self-sufficient childhood for our boys and wanting to revive the old school methods of practical scouting, bypassing the modern organization and its discriminating baggage." I like that mission statement. And they're not sexist, they just don't have girls. The blog follows their adventures as they undertake the projects in The American Boy's Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It, Centennial Edition. A bit advanced for a 16-month-old, but I'm thinking longer term.

In the shorter term, we've been contemplating a series of kidlet-centric adventures this summer with easy hikes for jogging strollers within an hour or so of Fullerton with the goal of introducing the wee bairn to as many different biomes as possible. Our friend Sarah Gilman even found us a book to help us on our way: Habitats Alive!

I wonder if all of these exclamation points get kids into nature more than book and event titles without exclamation points would. Get ready for B!ome Tour 20!!!

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