This is the third installment of reflections from the book: Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv.
It makes intuitive sense that kids diagnosed with ADHD would benefit from outdoor activities. I’m glad that Louv’s book is full of research to back this up.
In a study done at the University of Illinois (p.104), researchers showed that outdoor play in “green” settings resulted in fewer symptoms. By comparison, indoor activities such as watching TV, or outdoor activities on paved, non-green areas, increased symptoms. Even looking out the window at something green, can improve attention-deficit symptoms.
This is why I invite kids with the most energy to come on my outings. Tomorrow, we’re taking a trip to Picnic Point for a cook out. Nearly half of the kids on the trip are high needs kids, some with the label of ADHD. While I believe that all kids need nature to thrive, grow and develop their senses, these kids benefit most from simple green activities.
For example, I work with a first grader who is so high energy that sometimes he literally can’t stop moving. He acts out at times and inadvertently hits others when he loses control of his body. However, when he’s on a hike, these behaviors are non-existent. He’s happy and engaged. His senses are fully piqued.
If you know of a child that can benefit from some nature tonic, be sure to get them into an outdoor program. Or, get them out in the backyard, to explore insects, worms, buds, anything to stimulate their senses. I’ll be looking for easy ways for you to do this and will post the best as I find them.
For now, if you subscribe to my blog, I’ll send you my Bubble Activity Guide for free. It’s full of fun, easy and inexpensive things to do with kids. And, it includes my famous bubble juice recipe.