Nature Deficit Disorder

Have you ever watched what happens when a dog is let ‘off leash’ whilst out on a walk?  They don’t typically wait patiently by for their person to give them directions on where to go, ideas for what they can do, suggestions for how to maximise their outdoor experience.  No, they just take off and explore, try things out, repeat favorite moves.  Most dogs will keep an eye on their people to make sure they are ok without them and then back to the exploring.

I just read an article on BBC.co.uk in which the author, Richard Black, shares the findings of a National Trust report that states:

UK children are losing contact with nature at a “dramatic” rate, and their health and education are suffering.

I was directed to this report by a friend of my husband.  Chris is a husband, father, pilot and all-round great guy and I would imagine his comments below would resonate with many amongst us:

The article is definitely worth a read. It also made me think again to John Medina’s 12 Brain Rules. Specifically rules 1 and 12.  How can we make sure we maximise opportunity for the brain to flourish in these areas?  I’d say, for starters, take a leaf out of Chris’s book – if you can’t say ‘yes’ to more than half of the things on that list, perhaps you (or your child) need some more nature time?  I mean, who doesn’t love a great mud pie?  One of my favorite memories of last summer was when my friends came to stay with their two girls.  We were sitting outside in the hot afternoon and in order to encourage a little ‘running through the sprinkler’ I ended up doing exactly that, fully clothed, until soaking wet.  Uncomfortable?  Yes.  Had I just showered and changed and was now wet again?  Yes.  Great memories and a whole lot of fun?  Of course!

Here are the summaries of rules one and twelve.  For summaries of all the Brain Rules, click here.

P.S. Is that not the cutest picture of our gorgeous Abby at the top of the post?