A program sponsored by the city of Wichita, the Sedgwick County Extension Service, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is teaching kids–get this– how to play outside.
When I was growing up, kids lived outdoors. We rode our bikes all over town, hunted crawfish in the ditches, built forts in a nearby pasture, or just lay in the grass and picked out recognizable shapes in the clouds moving overhead. Playing outside just came natural to kids then.
Are children today really so overwhelmed by modern technology and creature comforts that they have no idea how to play outside? Apparently so, according to one of the program organizers, who points to a recent book by Richard Louv, “Last Child in the Woods.”
The book describes “nature deficit disorder” — the idea that kids today are not spending enough time outside and are losing the physical and mental benefits of hands-on outdoor activities.
This is sad.