Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Another One From Tom

From another weekend post at Tom Mangan’s Two-Heel Drive:

Turning kids loose in nature.

Dana Hull of the Mercury News talks to people who are trying to bring back the era of unstructured play and get kids interested in outdoor adventures.

As summer approaches and Wii sales climb toward 10 million, a growing number of parents and children’s advocates worry that child-driven, unstructured play – time spent exploring creeks and climbing trees without computer screens or adults hovering like helicopters nearby – is vanishing from the lives of many children.

The shift is so worrisome that many Bay Area parents and advocates like Bird are pushing back. They’re forming a loosely organized “movement” to bring play back from the brink that some call “Leave No Child Inside.”

[Two-Heel Drive]

Follow the link to read the rest of Tom’s post.

I certainly see the effects of this trend among my students. (I teach at a Bay Area community college.) I’m continually astonished at the number of students who seem to live “virtual lives” as much or more than real ones, and I feel sorry for them. I’d guess that the majority of my students have never been to the other side of the mountain range that rises west of my campus, where they could visit the shoreline of the world’s largest ocean. I know that a shocking number of them have never been 40 miles north to San Francisco. And only a small percentage have been to the Sierra Nevada and almost none are aware of the astonishing landscape on the eastern side of that range.

But almost every one could tell you who “won” on American Idol this week.

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May 26, 2008 - Posted by | Commentary

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