I’m so excited that one of the priorities for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2019 is connecting children and families with nature. In the Jan 2019 edition of AAP news, Dr. Yasuda, current AAP president, notes the research findings that benefits of exposure to green spaces for our kids include “greater physical activity, better mental health, reduced stress and increased resilience.” Further “nature helps improve their executive function, their ability to learn and their relationships with their families and other children.”
Richard Louv has been highlighting these findings for at least a decade, starting with his best-selling book “Last Child in the Woods” which outlines the many research proven benefits of time spent in nature. In fact, in a recent inspiring article on this topic, Dr. Louv invites us to imagine a world “….where antidepressants and pharmaceuticals are needed less and nature prescribed more. Where obesity – of children and adults – is reduced through nature play.” Read the full article, and get inspired to enjoy some family time in your local park or playground or even your own backyard.
Yasuda, Kyle, M.D, AAP News, Vol 40, No. 1, January 2019. P. 6
Louv, Richard, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2008