Spend a ‘Green Hour’ in Your Parks

The warm temperatures over the last several days have whet our appetite for spring and our desire to head outdoors. Unfortunately, recent studies find children in particular just aren’t spending as much time outside as they should.

A Kaiser Family Foundation report last year found children ages 8 to 18 years old spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day using entertainment media – an increase over the last five years. It’s no wonder childhood obesity rates are up.

In 2007, the National Wildlife Federation launched Green Hour, a program to stress how important outdoor time is in children’s lives. The point is for children to have a “green hour” each day: “This can take place in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street or any place that provides safe and accessible green spaces where children can learn and play.”

It’s more evidence of the importance of parks and using them to help your children appreciate the great outdoors. The activity itself isn’t important, but just the time outside. It can be taking a simple walk, working on a science project to find plant species or practicing catch.

As spring dawns, this is a great time to make a commitment to reconnect with nature. What ways can you plan more time outside for you and family? Share some ideas with us!

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