Thursday, December 11, 2014

Nurture Yourself By Getting Out More In Nature

As my quest for the #12BloggerDays of Christmas continues, thoughts du jour turn outside. Maybe because one of my crazy canines is barking his bloody head off in a total attempt to show us how "indoor cagey" he feels.  Clearly, an outdoor adventure needs to come...and probably soon!

As the weather turns chillier, we all find ourselves indoors more.  Layers and bundles are needed. That requires effort!  In the Christmas Chaos, maybe time is the key missing feature.  Add in that earlier sunset each night as we careen closer and closer to the week-away winter solstice.  At least after that, the days start getting longer!  

With that in mind, here is a list of the nature-centric finds I've stockpiled the last few weeks:

The Last Generation of Kids that Played Outside
This has got to be one of the most interesting articles I've read in a long time.  Especially as both an environmental and a technology teacher, the base of this article is about how all our current-day tech geniuses (who created the tech gizmos and gadgets of today) may possibly have gotten all that creativity from playing outside as kids, observing how nature works, and putting that natural "education" into creative practice.  With all our indoor tech-head kids these days, what will that mean for the future of innovation and creation?  A superb article in the Huffington Post by Nate Hanson! Definitely, food for thought!

The movie was just too good and needed to be shared here:

  1. You'll burn more calories.
  2. You'll strengthen your heart.
  3. You'll drink more water.
  4. You'll build a tolerance for the freezing elements.
  5. You'll remember the importance of warm-up and cool-down routines.
  6. You'll get a dose of Vitamin D
  7. You'll feel happier and more energized.
The Natural Teacher:  10 Ways You Can Add Vitamin N to Your Classroom & Beyond
From Children & Nature Network guru Richard Louv (who coined the Vitamin N: Nature & Nature Deficit Disorder), 10 practical ways to help create more environmentally connected kids.

Nature Connection Will Be the Next Big Human Trend
More commentary in this Huffington Post article by Daniel Crockett on what's amiss amongst us, in this hurried, frenzied, tech-connected yet isolated world in which we live in. The answer:  finding the wild & the wide open spaces.  Only through that connection to nature can we truly be connected.

Thinking Outside the Lucite Box: A Case for Experiential Education
Ben Klasky's Huffington Post article about how getting dirty and outside the traditional classroom leads to real learning!

All Children Need Nature:  12 Questions About Equity & Capacity
Richard Louv over at Children & Nature Network is at it again, with 12 poignant questions that remind us that when it comes to nature none of these matter:  gender, ethnicity, & socio-economic status.

The Uncommon Core:  Schools, Wilderness, & Supporting the Natural Resilience of Young People
Posted by Mark Phillips on the Children & Nature Network, His final quote sums it up:  "There is something about being in the woods, encountering wildlife, dealing with ice on a mountain climb, feeling rain on a trek through new territories, that can be life changing. Let’s make sure we give our kids that opportunity."

The iNaturalist App
Yes, there's an app for that!  By recording your natural findings, you can become a citizen scientist, and your data will help connect you to other naturalists.

32 Magic Pictures of Kids Playing Around the World
32 amazing pictures collected by Hugo Moreno showing play in action across the globe!  Striking;  the simplicity of the tools and the toys, and the smiles on the faces!!  Most certainly will bring one to your face as well!  My favorite (though there were many) was this one from Indonesia.

Amazing Map Shows Every Tree in the United States
From the folks over at Inhabit, check out the map created from Woods Hole Research Center in conjunction with US leaders in forestry & geology.  It's a pretty cool map that shows the tree density in the United States.

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