Category Archives: Outdoor Sports and Camping

300 “Genius-es”

No Comments 11 Dec 11:33 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Edith Cobb proposed in her famous essay the “Ecology of Imagination in Childhood”, that contact with nature stimulates creativity. In her review of the biographies of 300 “geniuses”, Ms. Cobb noted a common theme through out their childhoods:  intense experiences of the natural world in the middle age of childhood (between five and 12).   Animals and plants, she contended, are among “the figures of speech in the rhetoric of play … which the genius in particular of later life seems to recall”. Studies conducted by several nations are showing that children’s games are more creative in green places than in concrete playgrounds. …

Capitol Hill

No Comments 8 Dec 8:55 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Per the Washington Post – June 2007 : “Concerns about long-term consequences—affecting emotional well-being, physical health, learning abilities, environmental consciousness—have spawned a national movement to ‘leave no child inside.’ In recent months, it has been the focus of Capitol Hill hearings, state legislative action, grassroots projects, a U.S. Forest Service initiative to get more children into the woods and a national effort to promote a ‘green hour’ in each day.” From this cultural movement are emerging charters to redesign urban parks to better integrate nature into play areas.  Parents can get involved in many grass-roots ways.  Families can explore their …

Blending

No Comments 7 Dec 9:35 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

With more families living in urban areas, there’s a larger awareness of the significance of connecting kids with nature through play. In the United States, natural playgrounds have recently been created in Chicago, Boston, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix and New York . The concept has reached such a critical mass that the Natural Wildlife Federation and the Natural Learning Initiative at North Carolina State University have partnered to create the Natural Play & Learning Area Guidelines Project, to outline a road map for the design and management of natural play environments. Natural playgrounds typically include five elements, according to Mr. Bienenstock: …

G.O.!

No Comments 6 Dec 10:49 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Get Outside (“Let’s G.O.!”) is a youth led, youth-inspired Children & Nature initiative to bring people of all ages together to Serve, Celebrate and Play together, all during the beautiful Spring month of April.  Play with your kids at your nearby parks, hiking, sight-seeing, and playing on outdoor playground equipment.  Let us all encourage intergenerational groups of people to get outside, have fun, be actively engaged in a connection with nature. Families, teachers, students, mentors, grandparents and grand friends – especially children and youth – are invited to participate. Together we are all the change makers and the inspiration for meaningful social impact, …

Humanity in balance

No Comments 10:29 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Studies suggest that simply by being near to nature stimulates cognitive function and alleviates ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms. It is also well known that therapies using gardening or animal companions improve psychological health. In addition, it is well recognized that parks with rich bio-diversity appear to have positive impact on psychological well-being and social bonding among humans. Experience in the natural world has shaped the human species, including our brains. Although it can’t be stated with absolute certainty that nature plays a direct role in early brain development, it’s reasonable to deduce that the presence of nature softens …

Reconnect

No Comments 5 Dec 11:40 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

In the USA every state seems to face its own unique public school budget challenges.  At worst, physical education is cut or eliminated while playground space is reduced to accomodate supplemental (and “temporary”) classroom housing.    Families can take back some control by purchasing their own outdoor playsets and backyard playground equipment. Adam Bienenstock of Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, a design and construction company based in Dundas, Ontario, Canada is quoted:  “Connecting to nature is something that’s becoming more and more important everywhere.” Mr. Bienenstock designed Vancouver’s first natural playground, built at Grandview Elementary School in 2011, as well as what …

One touch

No Comments 3 Dec 12:34 pm Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

William Shakespeare:  “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” A couple of years ago the “Beyond Blue” Australian national depression initiative engaged Associate Professor Mardie Townsend of Deakin University’s Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences to investigate health benefits from including the outdoors in our lives. Her observations quoted: “Experiencing nature in an outdoor setting can help tackle not only physical health problems such as obesity and coronary heart disease, but also mental health problems – and there is plenty of evidence to support the claim.”  She outlines all this evidence in a 160-page report. Developing …

Tackle

No Comments 11:42 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Experience in an outdoor setting helps tackle physical health problems such as obesity and coronary heart disease, as well as mental health problems, starting with children as young as preschool. Researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia discovered that children who spend more time in outdoor sport activities and less time watching TV have better retinal microvascular structure. Retinal blood vessels have been linked to cardiovascular disease risk factors and blood pressure. Recently reports from countries (such as Australia) consistently show that not only is the participation rate highest for ‘watching television, videos or DVDs’, on average, children involved spent …

Don’t use winter as an excuse

No Comments 2 Dec 9:04 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Don’t use winter as an excuse for not getting the kids outside. Bundle them up and get out there. I grew up in Iowa in the Mississippi River Valley and I clearly remember playing in the snow – and sometimes (without supervision) stripping down to practically nothing (well ok, ….naked….), melting all the snow around me.  Kids’ body heat can be much  different than adults!  Anyway – mine was. In Scandinavia, where they have real winter, schools get kids outside all the time for activities and learning, And they report positive results. Two main factors are influencing the reduction of kids’ outdoor …

Parks for Healthy Communities

No Comments 1 Dec 8:26 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Mark your calendar: Monday, March 25, 2013: 12th Annual Parks & Green-space Conference Call for Presentations: 12th Annual Parks & Greenspace Conference in Atlanta, GA October 22, 2012 – By Park Pride Park Pride’s Parks & Greenspace Conference is an annual conference comprised of 350 park supporters, community leaders, greenspace advocates, business leaders, landscape architects, arborists, nonprofit groups, developers, planners, urban designers, elected officials and policy makers from the southeast. These participants gather to share innovative ideas and initiatives to inspire communities to utilize and improve their community parks, gardens and greenspaces. Now in its 12th year (thanks to many generous …