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Can Parks Make Kids Better at Math?

Next City – Rachel Dovey

“Kids need parks — from obesity and asthma rates to psychological indicators, research repeatedly shows that green space has a tremendous impact on children’s health. But could trees, swings and bike paths also make kids good at math?” (more)

Exploring nature could make your kids more empathetic

The Toronto Star – Kitson Jazynka

“Earlier this year, I wrote about what kids should do if they found a baby bird on the ground. The idea for the story came from an experience I had with my sons last summer, when we discovered a robin’s nest in a holly bush. The fragile home, stitched together with twigs and lined with dried grass, clung to a prickly-leafed branch near the busy bus stop at the edge of our yard in Washington. We watched the parents deliver dangling worms to the babies, snapped pictures from a distance, fretted through heavy rainstorms and, when they finally grew feathers and disappeared, wondered whether the little birds would make it to adulthood.” (more)

A 30-minute lesson can connect young people to nature, preserve for others

Medical X-Press – Jennifer Cruden

“A 30-minute educational lesson about the importance of leaving what you find during outdoor experiences helps young people feel more connected to nature and results in children being less likely to take natural items home as souvenirs, according to a study conducted at Outdoor School, a residential program run by Penn State’s Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center. The study, conducted by Penn State researchers and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, supports the notion that young people who undergo basic education about the importance of leaving natural settings as they found them for others to enjoy and to preserve natural habitats can lead to behavior changes.” (more)

Deepening Students’ Connection to Nature

Edutopia – Sarah Keel

“Children today seem to spend less and less time outdoors, due to the pull of technology, busy family lives, and safety concerns…This disconnect has dire consequences for children in the areas of health, communication skills, and academics. And children who spend more time connecting to nature in meaningful ways are more likely to develop pro-environmental attitudes. In order to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards, children need to spend time in and engage with nature.” (more)

Outdoor Learning Expert: Enhance Student Motivation

Education World – Sarah W. Caron

“In the book Moving the Classroom Outdoors, author Herbert Broda provides real-life examples of how teachers can effectively incorporate outdoor learning into their lessons. Moving the Classroom Outdoors retails for around $23 and is available on the Stenhouse Publishers Web site. Broda teaches education at Ashland University in Ohio. Though he’s a professor now, he began his teaching career in grade schools” (more)

Improving children’s access to nature starts with addressing inequality

The Guardian – Anna Leach

“With children now better at identifying Pokémon characters than common species of British plants and wildlife, there are concerns that we are increasingly losing touch with nature. In January, the UK government announced it would set £10m aside for outdoor learning – part of a 25-year environment plan that includes a pledge to “encourage children to be close to nature, in and out of school, with particular focus on disadvantaged areas”. Worries about children becoming disconnected from nature are not new. A 2016 study by Natural England found that more than one in nine children had not set foot in a park, forest or other natural environment over the previous year.” (more)