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March 7th, 2007:

Leave No Child Inside – Good Trend from America

It seems as though someone has finally stumbled upon a really good idea – get kids outside.   Instead of having kids constantly under their parents feet, or being chauffeur-driven around to organised sports and shopping malls get them out into the great outdoors!   And all this from America!

Yes, there are risks outside our homes. But there are also risks in raising children under virtual protective house arrest: threats to their independent judgment and value of place, to their ability to feel awe and wonder, to their sense of stewardship for the Earth – and, most immediately, threats to their psychological and physical health. The rapid increase in childhood obesity leads many health-care leaders to worry that the current generation of children may be the first since World War II to die at an earlier age than their parents. Getting kids outdoors more, riding bikes, running, swimming – and, especially, experiencing nature directly – could serve as an antidote to much of what ails the young.

Source: Leave No Child Inside | by Richard Louv | Orion Magazine March-April 2007  [^]

I had a look at some of the place where I “experienced nature directly” in Swindon.   In Rodbourne where there  is now  “Pasture Close” and “Meadow Road” [^] there used to be Meadow and Pasture – and cows, mud and newts.   Where we used to slip and slide down the hill on the way home from school at Commonweal  between Okus Rd and Hillside Ave(?) [^] looks like it is under houses now as well.   It was fun, and probably worth the trouble that I used to get into.   But the big question is do kids still do it?