As a parent of two young children, I know that being outdoors makes for happy children. No matter how crabby or how testy they are indoors, I consistently find that if I take them outside they are instantly happier. I am amazed by the power of nature and fresh air that can transform my children. Yesterday my children rode their bikes along the sidewalk, picked little purple “flowers” (weeds) in the neighbor’s lawn, and played tag using a London plane tree as base.
I am currently reading Richard Louv’s acclaimed book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. I am inspired to get my children outdoors more often to let them explore and enjoy the natural world around them. The trees of our community are integral to their (and my) enjoyment of the outdoors and I’m grateful for our city’s urban forest.
For more information about how time spent outdoors helps young children develop, check out this article from Psychology Today. To find out more about Richard Louv or Last Child in the Woods, visit the author’s website.
Kathleen Farren Ford is the Finance & Administration Manager for California ReLeaf.