Children need to get outside, because that is what they are hard-wired to do. These days, many ‘indoor parents’ get so frightened, that their children are hardly allowed out. Children’s nature campaigner Richard Louv writes that when he was a child ‘Nature was my Ritalin’, but today he meets zombied-out children who spend their lives playing computer games. He says a sad day was when he asked a child of his favourite place: the child replied ‘indoors, because that’s where all the sockets are’.
Richard has interviewed doctors, and found that whereas a few decades ago, most child injuries were broken bones (falling out of trees etc). Today they mostly have repetitive strain injury or depression. Nobody is suggesting sending your unwilling child up a high tree! But these books can hopefully strike a better balance.
- Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the extraordinary story of a 15-year old boy with Asperger’s and autism, who uses nature to heal from bullying and isolation. Follow a year in his home Northern Ireland patch, as Dara spends the seasons writing. These vivid moving diary entries on his connection to the wild world, sees the world in a new way.
- Wild Child is by nature writer Patrick Barkham, who draws on his experience as parent and forest school volunteer, to explore the relationship between children and nature. Unfolding over the course of a year of snowsuits, muddy wellies and sunhats, this is the story of children finding their place in the natural world – and delight found in modest patches of green.
- Our Wild Calling is the latest book by Richard Louv, who has updated his last book and this time applied it to how wildlife can teach us and children their wisdom. We need empathy and care to survive. Learn how dogs can teach children ethical behaviour, and what role human-animal relationships play on our spiritual health.