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WEB EXCLUSIVE Celebrate Take a Child Outside Week by spending some time with your kiddos in the great outdoors.
You may remember spending your youthful days playing outside for hours on end until your parents begged or demanded you come inside. But, as unfortunate as it sounds, most kids today spend a majority of their time indoors. In fact, according to the National Wildlife Association, kids are spending 50% less time outside than they did 20 years ago—which is both shocking and sad.
Take a Child Outside Week is an international initiative led by the museum and is designed to break down the obstacles that keep children from exploring the natural world. More than 150 organizations are participating, including NC State Parks, city and county parks, natural centers, and more. (Fun fact: The initiative was inspired by Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods, where Louv coins the term “Nature Deficit Disorder” and highlights the benefits of spending time outdoors for children.)
Getting outside does wonders for your overall well-being—think boosting your eyesight, enhancing cognitive abilities, improving social relations, and reducing stress and anxiety.
“Free time in nature has been shown to improve every area of a child’s life—from having healthier, stronger bodies to being more successful in school to having better relationships in their community,” says Beth Cranford, program coordinator for the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. “Time outside every day should be part of your regular routine.”
Not sure where to go? No fear, we’ve got all the deets on greenspaces and partner organizations where you can explore and spend some much-needed time in nature. And if you’re still lost, the Take a Child Outside website is full of fun activities for kids of all ages. Now, close that laptop or put down your phone and get outside! See you in the wild!
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