In today's fast-paced and connected world, our children sadly
spend most of their time indoors, parked in front of the television
or a computer rather than playing outside. Recent studies have
noted that children spend more than 44 hours per week on plugged-in
activities and that kids can identify up to 1,000 corporate logos,
but fewer than 10 plants or animals native to their backyards.
In 2009, the Chicago Wilderness Alliance enacted the first-ever
Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights, urging parents to step outdoors
with their children and provide them with the opportunity to enjoy
10 outdoor experiences in danger of extinction. Research and
anecdotal evidence proves that playing outdoors reduces stress,
improves concentration and promotes creative thinking.
Luckily we live in Chicago, where even our city motto, Urbs in
Horto, Latin for 'City in a Garden', reminds us that you don't have
to live in the country to enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Make it
your goal this spring and summer to take advantage of the beautiful
weather and help your children check off each activity on the
Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights.
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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