“When kids are outside everyone’s happier — us and them. Get them started with the Outdoor Baby Network” – Lenore Skenazy author of the book and blog, Free-Range Kids.
Spending time outside connects us to the natural world, recharges our ‘batteries,’ and connects us to the people we are with. These simple statements are at the core of WILD’s values. People connect more to each other and to the world around them when they spend time in nature. In the past year, we’ve seen a lot of work to show the physical and psychological benefits of spending time in nature, disconnected from the modern gadgets that run our lives.
With the popularity of Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods and more attention to the newly coined “Nature Deficit Disorder“, we’ve seen a rising interest on the part of schools, educators, nonprofits, governments and, of course, parents to encourage children to spend time outside in nature. For example, last year in the US the No Child Left Inside Act was passed in and President Obama declared June Great Outdoor Month to raise children who feel a connection to the earth and who are invested in the joy that the outdoors brings to their lives.
And, there are a growing number of good online resources for parents who want to encourage their children to enjoy time outside. OutdoorBabyNetwork.com is one that I think is on the cutting edge. In partnership with authors, Jen Aist, Nicole Beinstein Strait and Margaret Emerson, parent bloggers Heidi Ahrens and Melynda Coble-Harrison joined forces for this social networking site for families who enjoy the outdoors!
OutdoorBaby was previous a blog site, providing quality stories, gear reviews, and ideas on how to be better prepared to play outdoors. The new site adds a social networking component that allows parents to interact and share stories. OutdoorBaby is for kids and parents of all ages. There are groups (communities) for different activities and areas — today I even say a group of European Outdoor Babies! Keep an eye on this site for sure….
And, just some proof that I still love to play outside with my mom – a picture from our snowshoeing adventure at Brainard Lake, CO (December, 2008).