There’s been a lot of buzz recently about the importance of giving your child a “Green Hour” every day. For those of you that have no idea what that is (or think that I might be covertly trying to reference illegal activities), the term “Green Hour” was coined by the National Wildlife Federation in 2007. It’s defined as “time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world.”
The following information was taken from research compiled by the NWF. If you are interested in reading more, check out their site. Take a moment to let these alarming statistics sink in…
- The average American child spends 4-7 minutes of their day in unstructured outdoor play.
- The average American child spends a whopping 44 hours a week staring at some kind of electronic screen.
- In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than tripled.
- The United States has become the largest consumer of ADHD medications.
- Childhood prescriptions for anti-depressants are on the rise.
Now consider this research that shows outdoor time is vital for a child’s body, mind, and spirit…
- Outdoor play is a key component in building healthy bodies and preventing obesity.
- Kids who spend a lot of time outside tend to have better distance vision than their indoor counterparts.
- Offering environmental education programs in school improves standardized test scores.
- Exposure to natural settings may be widely effective in reducing ADHD symptoms, as well as anxiety and depression.
- Children’s stress levels fall within minutes of seeing green spaces.
That’s why I’ve decided to join the “Green Hour Connection.” On a regular basis, I’ll be sharing a story about something fun we did during one of Cragbaby’s Green Hour that week. My goal is twofold – it will hold me accountable for making sure that C regularly gets his “nature” on, and will hopefully motivate others to do the same. Feel free to leave a comment about an activity, tip, or expperience that you shared with your little green tyke as well – hopefully we can get a discussion going. And if you don’t have any little Cragbabies of your own yet, please don’t let that shy you away from commenting – in my opinion adults need a Green Hour just as much as the little ones!!!
We’ve only been in Charlotte for 2 weeks but so far we are loving all the green space we are finding around our neighborhood! Cragbaby’s fave so far has been Davie Park. C is too little to play on most of the playground apparatuses, but he didn’t let that stop him from trying! We were there on Wednesday for over an hour, basically just wandering around amongst the playground equipment. C toddled EVERYWHERE, waving and laughing, exploring all of the colorful poles, tunnels and slides. He loved watching all the big boys and girls and seeing all the cool things they could do!
What about you? What was your favorite Green Hour moment of the week?