RSI Corporate - Licensing

Outdoor Education a Plus for Lessons in Science and Language Arts

The Santa Barbara Independent – Michelle Howard

“In schools challenged to overcome significant achievement and enrichment gaps, the outdoors offers a level playing field. Educational strategies are always evolving, working to respond to the times while balancing funding and testing trends. And in recent decades, evidence has piled up in support of outdoor education. Social ecologist Stephen Kellert of Yale University sums it up: “Children’s direct and regular experience of the natural world is an irreplaceable dimension of healthy maturation and development.” But we’re not offering regular doses of this essential developmental ingredient today ​— ​schoolchildren spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors.”(more)

Yet another reason to tell your kids to go outside and play

Medical X-Press – Dr Kate Raynes-Goldie

“Parents worry about how much time their kids are spending in front of screens, but are they worried for the right reasons? According to an Australian industry study from March 2017, the top concerns that parents have about their kids spending too much time in front of the screen are online predators, bullying, being hacked and exposure to sexual and violent content. But new research is suggesting that there are also serious health concerns related to too much screen use by young people, in particular, young children.”(more)

Less plastic, more trees: New effort seeks to reinvent preschool playgrounds and capture kids’ imaginations

Chalk Beat – Ann Schimke

“The idea is to create outdoor spaces that capture kids’ imagination, connect them with nature and keep them active in every season. Such efforts grow out of a recognition in the education field that healthy habits start early and boost learning. Step by Step staff members had talked many times about their stagnant play space. But it was hard to envision anything different until they attended a design workshop with experts from ECHO, a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation, Qualistar Colorado and the Natural Learning Initiative at North Carolina State University.”(more)

6 Free Activities For Kids That Don’t Feel Like Exercise

The Huffington Post – Alyson Schafer

“The weather is getting warmer and we can’t wait to finally enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. But as much as we all yearn for those hot days, let’s face it, not all kids love the outdoors. Perhaps they are not naturally sporty or they prefer their beloved Xbox games, but it can be tough to make some kids get outside and be active. According to reports, Canadian children have become more sedentary in general. The 2016 Participaction Report Card says children should get one accumulated hour of heavy sweat-inducing exercise a day in addition to several hours of light activity. (However, a new study found that kids need just 10 minutes of intense activity a day.) Turns out, only nine per cent of kids get the proper amount of exercise, and only 24 per cent of five- to 17-year-olds meet the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommendation of no more than two hours of recreational screen time per day, with the average five- to 17-year-old Canadian spending 8.5 hours being sedentary each day.”(more)

The best books about green living for children of all ages

The Guardian – Zofia Niemtus

“When the future of the planet is tied into decisions the younger generation make today, it’s crucial to have classroom conversations about the environment. But how do we talk about such complex issues, bound up with science and politics, in an engaging way? Books with a green theme can provide a useful starting point in these discussions. Here are some of our favourite options, for children of all ages.”(more)

A natural history GCSE? It might help get our children outdoors

The Guardian – Michael McCarthy

“It is now 12 years since the American author Richard Louv pointed out that something new and potentially very damaging was happening to children: they were retreating from the world of outside. Young people were no longer playing in the fields, woods and parks where their parents played, and they were losing contact with nature: for their leisure time, they were retreating back inside the house. In Last Child in the Woods, Louv documented the causes and consequences. Of the reasons, two stood out: parents’ mushrooming fear of “stranger danger”, the belief that outside has become a very risky place for the unaccompanied young; and the powerful attraction of electronic screens, of computer games and the internet for children themselves.”(more)