Playground - Let's Go Explore

September 23, 2010

Happy teens are green teens, Kasser found in a 2005 study. Those who recycled, reused paper and plastic and switched off unused lights were happier than kids who didn't. While this study cannot prove that those behaviors made them happy (as opposed to them acting responsibly because they were happy already), the environmentally responsible teens were less materialistic and more focused on community, relationship and personal growth—so called “intrinsic”  values are associated with wellbeing.

Source: ivillage health

September 22, 2010

“If we wish to create lasting peace we must begin with the children.”   ~ Mahatma Gandi 

Calmer Kids - Concern about aggression in schools spurred yoga therapist and HI certified yoga teacher Dee Marie to create her own violence reduction program.

A program that addresses and manages childhood obesity, stress, self abuse, bullying, and violent behavior with a comprehensive, classically-based yoga program in the public school system.

The concepts presented in the program are kindness, compassion, and communication. Combining moving energy with a high level of body and breathing awareness to exercise the physical body controls anger and manages stress. The classes incorporate strength, flexibility and flowing postures to work the muscles in an aerobic way to help release excess energy and anxiety, to help relax the body and calm the mind for a happy, healthy, peaceful child.

The results were startling – an average 80 percent decrease in hitting at school over three sessions between 2004 to 2006.( Elementary school in Boulder, Colorado)

Source: Yoga International Magazine

September 21,2010

Developing Healthy Kids Through Outdoor Play: The Whole Child Report

When it comes to the whole child, nature may indeed be the best kind of nurture. 
The nature of childhood has changed: There’s not much nature in it. American childhood’s move indoors profoundly impacts the health and wellness of our nation’s kids. It is not just a sad loss of innocence; a detachment from all things growing and green. It is a serious public health issue that all Americans need to care about.
In the last twenty years, childhood obesity rates have more than doubled; the United States has become the largest consumer of ADHD medications in the world; and the use of antidepressants in pediatric patients has risen sharply. American kids are out of shape, tuned out and stressed out because they’re missing something essential to their health and development: unstructured outdoor play.

Source: Be out there

September 18, 2010

Reasons for getting outside!

1.Engagement with the Natural World  The natural world offers a vitalizing alternative to the activities and distractions of the modern world. naturebag prompts hands on, curiosity led explorations and encourages engagement with and respect for the natural world.

2.Future Stewards of the Planet There is no better reason for helping children develop a positive relationship with the natural environment or we risk future generation's being alienated from nature. A Nature Conservancy funded study found that direct experience with nature is the most highly cited influence on environmental attitude and conservation activism.

3.Physical and Psychological Well-being  Play and interaction with the natural world has been seen to help calm a person both physically and mentally. In a world where electronics play such a large part in children's lives, staying connected with the outdoors is all the more important to maintain a psychological and spiritual balance.

As one 4th Grader was quoted in the book 'Last Child in the Woods' by Richard Louv,"I like to play indoors better 'cause thats where all the electrical outlets are"'

Last Child in the Woods' presents a collection of  research 'indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.'

Naturebag - Reconnecting Children and Nature

September 17, 2010

Children need “down” time to just “be”. Think about how you feel at the end of a long day of doing all the things you are required to do. Then consider how you feel when you realize you have an extra couple of hours to do whatever you want.