No Child Left Inside
“While new generations of birds still sing,
younger generations of Americans may not stop to listen, or even care.”
Sam Hamilton, Director of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Touching, wondering about, observing, feeling, questioning, and sharing the excitement found in the natural world with others, can lead children to a life-long appreciation and understanding of the environment. Any activity which excites their inborn sense of wonder, promotes their physical well-being, and invites them to explore the natural world is a good thing.
Two family-based programs sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation which provide tips for finding new ways for families to spend more time outdoors.
Nature Rocks (http://www.naturerocks.org/) is a national program to inspire and empower families to plan and explore in nature. Using Nature Rocks, parents can find over 100 fun, easy to implement, inexpensive (or free) and interesting activities based on your specific needs (time available, ages of children, etc.)
Let’s Go Outside is a program designed for children ages 8 to 11 years old and encourages children to go outside and learn about the environment. Patches can be earned for documenting environmental projects and local wildlife, thus reinforcing the connection between the virtual and natural worlds.
Growing Up Wild is designed for children ages 3 to 7. It is a program of the Council for Environmental Education, a 501 (c)(3) organization and a nationally recognized leader in environmental education. Growing Up Wild qualifies as a non-federal match for Head Start grantees.