Friday, 21 September 2007

Take a Child Outside Week starts Monday

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It may seem pretty basic but starting Monday, all parents are urged to nudge their kiddos into the outdoors. Why? Because the week of September 24 has been dedicated as "Take a Child Outside Week."

The brainchild of Liz Baird, director of school programs for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, this week came about after Baird took a neighborhood walk one beautiful evening and noted the glow of television sets coming from nearly every window she passed. So yep, it's pretty basic. Turn off your TVs. And get the kids outside.

Research links a lack of outdoor activity to depression, obesity, and stress in children. Exposure to nature, on the other hand, fuels creativity, builds self-sufficiency, and activates the senses. Don't you remember roaming free when you were a kid? Today's children may not have such fond memories unless we shove them out the door because unstructured outdoor activity is down by half from the previous generation. Let's change that -- and not just for one week.

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