Kids Gone Wild by Bruce Grierson
This article is about the benefits of spending time outside as a child. The article explores the lives of two families and their interaction with the outdoors. One of the families lives in British Columbia near a large expanse of woodland. They realized recently that they have become part of a Global crusade, due to the expose to nature their kids are getting. The article says that kids that spend time outdoors in nature are healthier, happier, and smarter. This is backed up by proven facts and statistics such as kids on the playgrounds at school are more civil to each other when surrounded by real nature, after playing outside kids are more focused, and a walk in the woods will increase cognitive performance while a walk through the city will not. The other family in the articles speaks of the effects their family camping trips had on their teenagers. Their two daughters are environmentalists who are fearless in the woods and happy to become green in any way they can. The family also claims that the outdoor vacations brought their family closer together. Aside from family activities the article talks about kindergarten classes that take place in the woods. The so called Waldkindergarten is a class of kindergarteners that spend the whole day outside exploring the woods and generally playing outside the way most kindergarteners play inside. They make soups with water and berries, create toys with sticks and nap on the ground. The kids are also encouraged to use their five senses and figure things out on their own.
This article really reminded me of my childhood. I spent my first four years living in Victoria B.C, and according to what my parents told me I was wandering the woods from the time I could walk. My parents were dedicated campers; they camped in a tent along old railroads instead of in the camping grounds. I would go along with them and wander around in the woods with our two huge black dogs following my every step. They were our bear and cougar deterrents despite being mistaken for bears themselves once or twice. I still love spending time outside and our family continues to go on camping trips. After reading this article I would like to believe that I have experienced the benefits of spending time in nature and am very happy that I took outdoor ed this year. I am definitely grateful of all the benefits of exposure to the outdoors and am especially inspired by a line from the article that says “the key to developing lifelong environmental consciousness: early and “vivid” exposure to the wild” which I take to mean, any kid can learn to love the outdoors.
Bruce Grierson, Kids Gone Wild & Kids Gone Wild cont, Explore Magazine, August 2009 Issue, January 3, 2011. http://explore-mag.com/article/people/kids-gone-wild/