Consider this fall a winning season for the movement to get more children and adults outside. We, for one, are especially inspired and grateful to hear about these announcements:
- A Department of the Interior initiative to expand opportunities for youth on public lands, including moving to ”develop or enhance outdoor recreation partnerships in a total of 50 cities over the next four years to create new, systemic opportunities for outdoor play for more than 10 million young people.”
- The American Public Health Association passed 17 new policy statements, including one “to aid in promoting healthy and active lifestyles. This includes promoting natural landscaping, encouraging “land use decisions that prioritize access to natural areas and green spaces for residents of all ages, abilities and income levels” and calling on “public health, medical and other health professionals to raise awareness among patients and the public at-large about the health benefits of spending time in nature and of nature-based play and recreation.”
- The American Academy of Pediatricians issued some pretty tough guidelines for children and use of technology. While recognizing the educational benefit of some technology (We agree! Ask us sometime about our favorite stargazing app), they’ve also recommended that no child under 2 should have exposure to to the TV or internet, that older kids should not have TVs or Internet access in their bedrooms, and that children should be limited to less than two hours of entertainment-focused screen time per day.
Thank you to the Children & Nature Network for the information on these promising developments.
We’re spoiled: It’s easy to limit screen time and play in the outdoors at Camp Stevens. What are the challenges of doing so where you live? How do you encourage and use your family’s outdoor time?