A few times per year, I like to offer other bloggers a spotlight to share their passion while offering insights into helping us raise our children. Today’s blog is written by Leslie Campos who provides tips for other busy parents through her site Wellparents.com. Parents can find a variety of information from stress-busters to exercise ideas to healthy eating tips.
Craving time outside? You may have felt it too often lately. The pandemic has created many moments inside our homes instead of outside in nature and our children were hit hardest. Take them to the park? What once was an almost daily occurrence stopped, and some of these new habits are creating long term impacts. Here is an interesting take on how the lack of being outdoors could affect our children and easy tips to get us exploring, dirty and having fun again! I hope you find this article of hers interesting and helpful! ~ Shannon
What is Nature-Deficit Disorder?
Let’s start by learning a little bit about Nature-Deficit Disorder, a term proposed by author Richard Louv, and its impact on the health of our children. NDD arises when children aren’t exposed to enough sunlight and fresh air, not to mention exercise, and the symptoms include fatigue and even sensory anesthesia, which the Kirala Center for Yoga & Health describes as “becoming disconnected from the feedback that we receive from nature through our five senses.” Luckily, the cure doesn’t necessarily have to be extravagant—or expensive.
Backyard Sports and Activities
If you’re looking for an easy cure to NDD, you can start in your own backyard. Consider building an obstacle course for your kids, or maybe a DIY giant Jenga or even a DIY mini golf course, or other classic yard games like a bean bag toss and a scavenger hunt. You might even want to invest in your own playground or swing set. Depending on what you install or build, you could even give your home’s value a little boost.
Opportunities for Backyard Education
Nature has a knack for making learning fun. From this introductory guide to astronomy to helping your children identify birds and insects, your backyard just might be the best classroom on earth. And don’t forget these great ideas from Famly, which include sensory walks, planting seeds and cloud watching.
When you discover that your child could be suffering from the negative effects of nature-deficit disorder, your first action may be to start planning a trip to the closest park for some hiking and camping. It may be tough if you’re busy with work, which is why carving out time is critical. While hikes or camping are definitely great ways to introduce your kids to nature, you don’t have to take things to that extreme just yet. Instead, you can embark on an adventure that takes place right outside your home — in your own backyard.
Another source you may find helpful from The New York Times.