Category Archives: Outdoor Sports and Camping

Bio-philic Hypothesis

No Comments 2 Jan 8:16 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Edward O. Wilson introduced the “Biophilic” hypothesis in his book, Biophilia (1984). He defined biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there’s an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. There is now a new book by Stephen R. Kellert, Judith H. Heerwagen, and Martin L. Mador:   “Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life” This new book is comprised of a series of essays examining the design of buildings and communities in relation to the natural world. Two essays in particular probe into the impact of design decisions on children: “Healthy Planet, Healthy Children: …

API scores

No Comments 30 Dec 9:29 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Nature-Smart Kids Get Higher Test Scores.  These kids have higher APIs … and regular play time on outdoor playground equipment helps! The American Institutes for Research® conducted a study, submitted to the California Department of Education, on the influence of residential outdoor education programs. The focus was on at-risk youth, 56% of whom reported never having spent any time in a natural setting. These kids were compared with students who experienced the outdoor education program. The results were statistically significant. Major findings were: 27% increase in measured mastery of science concepts; enhanced cooperation and conflict resolution skills; gains in self- esteem; gains in …

Benefit & Risk analysis

No Comments 28 Dec 9:01 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Explore with your kids and experience the great outdoors and nature. Of course, some “risk analysts” have published articles about the “Associated Risks and Benefits”:  There’s a new publication from the Children & Nature Network in a joint effort with the Commission on Education and Communication (@ www.iucn.org/about/union/commissions/cec/). Get your kids outdoors playing on outdoor or backyard playground equipment in a natural green space setting. There is a strong case for the importance of children’s and youth’s connections with nature. Evidence recently published covers the basics (of unstructured outdoor play in nature).  Such as: 1) Children’s experiences of the outdoors and nature, …

Concord: Not just a fast out-of-commission Jet

No Comments 8:48 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

The Sudbury Valley Trustees, from the Concord, Assabet and Sudbury river basin of Massachusetts, is a regional land trust dedicated to conserving land and protecting wildlife habitat.  Lately they have been searching for better access and parking in their (Gowing) swamp and bog, an 8.9-acre acidic wetland complex named after Henry David Thoreau and located in a protected, glaciated hollow adjacent to Ripley. They are planning to build a new “Playscape”  that will include a woodland path connecting to  a path leading to the Sudbury Valley Trustee’s entrance to the loop trail at Gowing’s Swamp. The Concord Children’s Center is one …

This next Fall.

No Comments 27 Dec 9:11 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario will resume a study next Fall in which they plant GPS on elementary school children in Ontario, Canada.  Why oh why?  This is a concerted effort to understand how their environment influences their activity levels. The study (in its first phases) is the largest of its kind in Canada. It aims to explore factors at school and in the surrounding community. Its primary goal is to help researchers understand why some kids (who live less than a mile away) get rides to school (every day!).  The information will be used to make meaningful …

From Essex to us

No Comments 24 Dec 9:23 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Per a study at the University of Essex (UK), Jules Pretty and colleagues focused upon children’s outdoor behavior and found two very basic conceptual pathways —(one healthy and one unhealthy)—.  Both are critical in shaping our lives and our life outcomes. On the healthy pathway, people are active, connected to people and society, engage with natural places, and eat healthy foods. As a result these people tend to live longer and have a far better quality of life. On the unhealthy pathway, people are inactive, disconnected from people and society, do not engage with natural places, eat unhealthy foods, and …

Take a look at your kid’s outdoor behavior

No Comments 9:06 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Recent Research summarized below reveals a bottom line 1. Physical activity and exposure to nature are important to good health. Author Affiliation: Jules Pretty,  University of Essex in the UK.     Jules Pretty, Angus, C., Bain, M., Barton, J., Gladwell, V., Hine, R. (2009). 2. Outdoor backyard playground equipment helps.  3. Nature, childhood, health and life pathways all co-join. With a particular focus on children, Pretty and colleagues examine the role of physical activity and exposure to nature on health and well-being.  The current state of physical inactivity, the positive health benefits of nature contact, and the potential role of green exercise …

2013 is a year for health & wellness

No Comments 21 Dec 9:06 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Thank you to Geoffrey Godbey, with Resources for the Future:   “Outdoor Recreation, Health, and Wellness: Understanding and Enhancing the Relationship”. Washington DC In this insightful resource book Godbey highlights specific research gaps that could help future studies. He discusses changing demographics pertaining to outdoor recreation along with what such changes could mean in terms of successful policymaking. This new publication about children and outdoor play and exposure to nature is highly recommended as a great resource for parents and educators alike. Godbey takes an in-depth look at the health benefits of outdoor play, including the role outdoor play activities have in stress …

Unplug, Recharge. Create.

No Comments 19 Dec 8:22 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Past research has linked the color green with creativity. A new study, soon to be published in the journal “PLOS One”, reports that spending 4 nature-filled days away from electronic devices, is linked with 50 percent higher scores on a test for creativity. Findings further present a rationale for understanding healthy interaction in our world.  Burying yourself in front of a computer may have costs that can be remediated by taking a hike in nature,” study researcher David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, said in a statement. This research study included 56 people with an average age of 28. The participants …

Clayton County IA

No Comments 17 Dec 8:14 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Special thanks to Brian Gibbs, a Naturalist for Clayton County Conservation: Many schools in Clayton County, Iowa are implementing use of iPads as an educational tool.  iPads are being used from kindergarten all the way through high school. No surprise to parents of young children because the trend these days -from California to New York- is for schools to require students to sign (a use of technology) pledge containing a list of appropriate behaviors.  Doesn’t appropriate behavior primarily relate to social interaction in the classroom and on the playground?  Nowadays we’re even outlining rules for a virtual world formally applied primarily …