Kids and Nature

Got Kids? Take ’em outside!

September 29, 2011

In an alarming poll conducted by the Nature Conservancy, only ten percent of kids said they’re spending time outside everyday. That’s no typo folks, a whopping ten percent!

The study also found that 88 percent of America’s youth spend time online every day, while 69 percent of kids watch television or played video games every day.

While it may seem that today’s youth are more concerned with their technological gizmos and gaming consoles, there is hope that they can still find a connection with the great outdoors. According to the poll, 66 percent of youth who have had personal experiences with nature walked away with a greater appreciation.

So what’s preventing America’s youth from enjoying nature?

There were a variety of answers: lack of interest in general, not being comfortable outdoors, costs, parental restraints, health issues, to lack of access to rural areas and transportation. Fifty-four percent of kids cited accessibility of rural areas and transportation as a major reason for their lack of participation.

Lucky for us in the Bay Area right now, the month of October provides plenty of opportunities for families around region to get kids off the couch and into a more active habitat.

So this is one online resource that says, “Get outside!, Step away form the keyboard!” After you find some great stuff to do, of course.

Here are a few highlights:

Saturday, October 1

Meet the Animals! At the Randall Museum

Sunday, October 2

Free First Sundays! At the Oakland Museum of California

Saturday October 8

Nat’l Children’s Day at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve

North Richmond Shoreline Festival

Shark Day! at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Bayer Farm Tour and Corn Festival

Sunday, October 9

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch

Monday, October 10: Teens on Trails

Sunday, October 16: Family Bird Walk

Saturday, October 22

Outdoor Family Adventure Day at Lands End in San Francisco

Shorebirds return to San Francisco!

About the Author

Eric Galan is a Bay Nature editorial intern.

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