Welcome to a place where we can share ideas about grandparenting, especially ways to pass spiritual values and family stories to the next generation.

Mary is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart.
Visit www.legacyconnection.org
My photo
Co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart

Friday, June 22, 2012

Let's camp out

Friday's  Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Summer is officially here and Saturday, June 23, is National Wildlife Federation's Great American Backyard Campout. So, this weekend could be a great time to take the grandkids camping at a State park or in your own backyard.

When I was growing up, we spent most of our free time riding bicycles, playing outdoor games, and even stretching out on the grass—using our imaginations to identify the shapes of overhead clouds. Some looked like mountains while others appeared to be fluffy balls or bears. It's no secret that kids today spend much of their spare time in front of the computer or glued to an I-phone.

Did you know that kids who spend a lot of time outside are more creative than those who don't?  Well, I learned some things as I read some facts found on the National Wildlife Federation's website for kids:

  • Children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago. (Juster et al 2004); (Burdette & Whitaker 2005); (Kuo & Sullivan 2001)
  • Today, kids 8-18 years old devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media in a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). (Kaiser Family Foundation)
  • In a typical week, only 6% of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own. (Children & Nature Network, 2008)
  • Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive and show better concentration. (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg et al., 2007)
  • Sixty minutes of daily unstructured free play is essential to children’s physical and mental health. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008)
  • The most direct route to caring for the environment as an adult is participating in “wild nature activities” before the age of 11. (Wells and Lekies, 2006)

What ideas do you have about encouraging our grandkids to enjoy and appreciate the wonderful world that God has made? If you go camping with the grandkids (this weekend or sometime later), I'd love to hear about it! Just comment below or send an e-mail to mary@marymaywrites.com.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2)

Happy camping,

© 2012 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo Courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

No comments: