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Nature Calls

Nature Calls

One of my wife and I’s favorite things to do is to be outdoors. Studies are now showing the immense benefits of outdoor activity in a scientific manner. A study from Stanford University showed that being in nature had therapeutic applications for addictions. It also showed it reduced compulsivity and improved self control.

Studies and actual applications for children playing outdoors as a big part of the school learning have shown tremendous results. There are so many things a child can do in the great outdoors. They can find things on the ground that interest them and take them home. Kids can make up games and pretend they are someplace only they know about. They can invite friends to play with them. What about building a fort?

I loved doing all those things when I was a kid. How many kids today get to do those things? What are they missing? What learning experiences are out there in nature that are applicable to their learning capabilities and future coping skills?

There is a place called the “Land” that incorporates all these things. It is a playground made up of the outdoors. It is not the playground we see every day we go by a school or a park. This playground oozes kids. It has hills, a fireplace, water, and assorted playthings like tires, sticks, mattresses, and cans. What a great place to inspire imagination and creativity, hallmarks of children’s development.

Clare Griffiths, who is the manager at the “land,” says her employees are “loitering with intent.” I love it! They want the children to figure out life lessons on their own. Kids are encouraged to take risks. This is fantastic! They believe in “natural risks.” Kids could get hurt building and being around fire, but with the workers around the risk is minimal and the reward exponentially great.

Griffiths had to sell this idea and started doing so in 2006. She explained to the parents around the neighborhood of the health and developmental benefits of freedom during outdoor play. They started to believe and now the “Land” is known around the country

Written by : Jennifer