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Early Childhood Experience of Nature

September 14, 2011

Here’s Richard Louv on early childhood experience of nature:

[S]everal studies show that early contact with nature — particularly in the form of self-directed play (see Nancy Wells’ studies) — is pretty much a requirement for long-term, positive environmental values.

And the need for better messaging:

By continually hammering on climate change or global warming — a challenge for sure, but abstract and not immediate to most people’s experience — we’ve disconnected from most people who have more immediate concerns; we’ve virtually stopped talking about the impacts of air and water pollution on their children’s health, the psychological damage all of us experience when nature around us is destroyed, and so on. Especially if you’re a parent, regardless of your politics, you tend to care about your kids’ health. In addition to bringing those topics back to the forefront, we can add a newer argument, which is about thriveability: by increasing contact with the natural world, especially within cities, we can enhance and enrich our children’s (and our) full use of the senses, cognitive development, and overall health and well-being.

More here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 2, 2011 11:29 pm

    Hi – I just found this. I know you wrote it a while ago but I really enjoyed it. Thanks. Reminded me of a piece I wrote recently about my experience in nature. You might like it. It starts:

    “Some things in life just can’t be explained. Why do very simple events in our life, that usually occur during childhood, print an indelible mark in our memory cells and register with us so completely that, even as older adults, we remember the finite details . . .”

    Here’s the link:

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