Children and nature

Children and nature

Children and nature

Date posted: May 3, 2013

Have you heard of Nature Deficit Disorder? Originally coined by Richard Louv in 2005, this term describes how the lack of contact with nature has detrimental consequences for healthy growth and development. To learn more about Nature Deficit Disorder and how to prevent it –


Discovering nature with children.
Ingrid Chalufour and Karen Worth. St. Paul, Minn.: Redleaf Press, 2003.
The curriculum presented in this book expands and extends the role science has traditionally played in the early childhood classroom. It builds on children’s natural curiosity and explores the wide-ranging elements that make up the natural world.

Last child in the woods. Revised & updated ed.
Richard Louv. Chapel Hill, NC : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2008.
This resource presents evidence that direct exposure to nature is an important factor in healthy physical and emotional development of children. It links lack of nature in children’s lives to the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

Nature and young children: encouraging creative play and learning in natural environments. 2nd ed.
Ruth Wilson. New York: Routledge, 2012.
This resource promotes the development of children by connecting them with nature. It contains a variety of ideas on how to support creative play and learning in nature-focused environments, and offers guidance on setting up indoor and outdoor nature play spaces in early childhood settings.

Nature’s playground: activities, crafts, and games to encourage children to get outdoors.
Fiona Danks. Chicago, Ill.: Chicago Review Press, 2007.
Organized by season, this book contains activities from vigorous games to natural crafts to encourage children play outdoors.

Sharing nature with children: the classic parents’ & teachers’ awareness guidebook.
Joseph Cornell. Nevada City, Calif.: Dawn Publications, 1998.
This book contains a variety of nature-awareness games that are not only nature activities to do with children but encompass an inspiring approach to nature education. This book inspired a revolution in nature education. The sequel, Sharing nature with children II, contains additional activities.

To borrow any or all of these books, email



Sorting stones – a LEAP BC language development activity for children from ages 2 to 5. This activity card is now available in Punjabi and Chinese.


Childhood in the garden: a place to encounter natural and social diversity Children’s contact with the outdoors and nature: a focus on educators and educational settings – An annotated bibliography of research articles on children’s contact with the outdoors and nature, particularly in educational settings Health benefits to children from contact with the outdoors & nature – an annotated bibliography of research articles on outdoor and nature contact and children’s health and well-being Nature clubs for families: tool kit : pilot edition – ideas for making the natural world a fundamental part of children’s lives, from Children & Nature Network The ten actions parents can take to prevent nature deficit disorder

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