Nature Deficit Disorder

 
Hi guys,
I apologize for not posting in a while, I was away on vacation and the day after I got home I began working for my Aunt & Uncle running programs on one of their natural playgrounds.    My aunt and uncle are one of the few people I know that have been fortunate enough to make a career by combining their two passions.  In this case it’s landscaping and early childhood education.  Check out their company Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds.  Not only do they build beautiful playgrounds, they also advocate on behalf of the importance of play, the environment, and children’s creativity.
 
Although I didn’t blog doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about what I was going to write about when I blogged. Throughout the week there were two “things” that I kept noticing.  1) was the  difference I could see between children from different educational environments & 2) the reality of the nature-deficit disorder, a term I learnt about last semester.   Today we will be focusing on nature-deficit disorder.
 
Like I mentioned above, I first heard the term ‘nature-deficit disorder’ while I was reading ‘Einstein never used flashcards: How our children really learn- and why they need to play more and memorize less by,R.Golinkoff, K.Hirsh-Pasek, & D.Eyer.  However nature-deficit disorder was termed by Richard Louv in 2005.  Nature-deficit is characterized by the lack of (free) time children spend outside and the wide range of behaviour issues that can can develop as a result.   Louv, pinpoints three main reasons why children spend so little time outside 1) safety/parents fear 2) restricted access to natural resources/ loss of natural surroundings 3) increased time inside/the lure of the screen.
 
Louv also points out that too often parents favour regimented sports over imaginary play.
The question I want you guys to ask your self is how much time a day or week does your child have for free play outdoor?  And what does that outdoor environment look like?
 
If the concept of natural playgrounds are new to you, do some personal research on Natural Playgrounds and see what you think!  Personally, I think in our concrete-dominant world all of our playgrounds should embrace nature and place children in a natural creative surrounding.
Let me know what you think!!
 
Thanks for stopping by,
 
alyshia.marli
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3 thoughts on “Nature Deficit Disorder

  1. Pingback: Nature Deficit Disorder | alyshiamarli

  2. Hi Alyshia
    Great blog! As a pediatrician who sees kids with learning and behavioral issues as a main part of my practice, I am a strong believer in the concept of Nature Deficit Disorder. I am regularly stunned at the amount of screen time that parents will confess to their kids having, and that is only one reason why kids aren’t getting enough time outdoors. Anyway, kudos to you for raising the topic!
    Dr. Laura Gerber
    Pediatrician, Burlington Ontario

  3. Pingback: Tree Hugging Now Scientifically Validated – Uplift | Mental Flowers

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