Monday, April 16, 2012

The Green Hour: A Daily Dose of Nature for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids

Being a New Englander, the minute it hits 45 degrees farenheit, we are all outside in shorts and sandals. Just kidding (kind of!). But really, being outdoors is a huge part of my family life. We love gardening and playing outside. Sometimes I find myself needing a little inspiration. The Green Hour: A Daily Dose of Nature for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids by Todd Christopher is our outdoor bible. It is filled with fun ideas to keep children away from the electronics and playing outdoors. There are ideas for a backyard scavenger hunt. You would be surprised how even the most sullen pre-teen loves a good scavenger hunt!
The National Wildlife Federation, on its website, recommends that parents give their kids a “Green Hour” every day—a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. Whether in the backyard, the local park, or a green space farther afield, time spent outdoors is essential to the healthy development of young minds, bodies, and spirits.

Todd Christopher, the creator of the, has filled this book with activities designed to encourage discovery, creative play, and a wonder of nature. Here you'll find a range of projects, fun facts, and science lessons meant to engage and invigorate your child, as well as the practical advice for parents that makes getting outdoors easy and worry-free. With creative, science-based ideas for a variety of natural settings, getting your family's daily dose of nature just got easier.

I was surprised by what a little scientist I have in my daughter. I loved the suggestion of getting paint swatches then asking children to find something outdoors in that color. I know summer with its bright colors will be even more fun! To practice writing, I plan on making my little girl write about what we find. I was intirgued myself with the way I could make a "cloud" with everyday items. We are really looking forward to using leaves to make sun prints with colored construction paper. With so many ideas, it will be harder getting your kids to come back indoors. Let them celebrate the beautiful earth!

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