Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What? Kids Need to Play?

I noted this in the "required reading" box, but it's worthy of an expanded post. Once again, research money proves the painfully obvious: Kids who get a break from academics fare better than those who did not. Oh, and specifically, kids with attention problems benefit from play in natural settings. I'm stunned:

"A small study of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder last year found that walks outdoors appeared to improve scores on tests of attention and concentration. Notably, children who took walks in natural settings did better than those who walked in urban areas, according to the report, published online in August in The Journal of Attention Disorders. The researchers found that a dose of nature worked as well as a dose of medication to improve concentration, or even better...

other research suggests that all children, not just those with attention problems, can benefit from spending time in nature during the school day. In another study of children who live in public housing, girls who had access to green courtyards scored better on concentration tests than those who did not."

Why is this a surprise to anyone? Have the folks in charge of schools never observed children?


Laura A said...

I'm putting this one in my Delicious bookmarks!

Have you read *Last Child in the Woods*? The end of that book seems a little unrealistic to me, but overall it's a good treatment of the subject.

I'm looking forward to spring in park! Nature is a bit of a challenge here, but we do what we can.

MacBeth Derham said...

I read it, and joined Louv's email list. It's an interesting read, but the usual suggestion that government can fix all things if only they do it our way is a common theme in the movement.

I can't wait for things to start blooming! The daffodils on my south-facing lawn are just struggling out of the frozen ground. Soon!

Leticia said...

You're right, MacBeth, I only like the first part of the book where he described the problems of modern children, and how nature was the fix. I think back to nature families are the solution.

I just posted on how we are adjusting to the wildlife in the woods up here in CT, and the girls are growing from the relationship already.