|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Go Outside and Play (Yes, Grownups Too)
Follow-up questions were rebuffed, but I think the idea was that we needed quarters to make the ducks go, or maybe to get food to feed the ducks, a la the petting zoo. We laughed it off as yet another city kid moment (like when my daughter responded with great curiosity at the strange term "driveway").
But according to this story from the BBC News, more and more kids—and adults—are living lives divorced from nature, and the results can be bad for your health. As we all spend more of our time plugged into various screens than we do outside, we may be suffering from what author Richard Louv calls "nature-deficit disorder." Part of the concern is that kids growing up disconnected from nature will care less about the environment and the world around them. Another concern is that we are all missing out on the health benefits of fresh air, getting dirty, and connecting with nature. A life lived indoors generally means less exercise and of course less sunlight. The article quotes a study that visitors to a green space in Yorkshire felt a greater sense of well-being. All we have to do to go outside and play. (And you don't even need to bring any quarters.)
Read the article for more on "forest schools" for children, the Japanese concept of "forest bathing," and other ways we can get more outside time in our inside lives.
The Nature Principle
Oprah's Favorite Place
Please note that Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities have no affiliation with and do not endorse those entities, projects, or websites referenced above, which are provided solely as a courtesy. You should conduct your own independent investigation before using the services of any such entities, projects, or websites. Information is provided for your reference only.