No Child Left Inside
Bolingbrook Park District joins Chicago Wilderness in a regional initiative "No Child Left Inside" with the goal of improving children's health and fostering generations of children who care enough about nature to protect it. Join us in leaving no child inside by immersing yourself and your children in the natural world. Take part in a program at one of the district's many natural areas! All programs will be held outdoors so please wear comfortable clothing and take weather conditions into account.
Bolingbrook Park District encourages parents to take their children to a local park, fish at Hidden Lakes or discover nature at one of our natural areas. One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is to share your love of nature.
Below are some links for resources on how to make sure your child is not left inside.
Chicago Wildnerness No Child Left Inside
National Wildlife Federation http://www.nwf.org/Get-Outside/Be-Out-There.aspx
Children & Nature Network http://www.childrenandnature.org/
Children’s Nature Institute http://www.childrensnatureinstitute.org/newsite/
Go Outside and PLAY….
Climbing trees, building snow forts, discovering what’s under a log, and simply playing outside are hopefully not a thing of the past. Most adults over 30 have memories of these activities filling childhood’s days. We would spend our days climbing, digging, collecting, building, and exploring the natural world, at our own pace, however and whenever we wanted. Yet today, in this era of overscheduling and stranger-danger, we are unfortunately raising children that don’t know how to go outside and play.
In 2005, Richard Louv wrote Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder. He states that children today overwhelmingly prefer indoor to outdoor play. When asked, one fourth grader was quoted as saying, “I like to play indoors better ‘cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.” He theorizes that children's disconnect from nature is evident in the increase in childhood obesity, attention deficit disorder, and depression.
Our children are stimulated not by finding a monarch chrysalis but by manipulating a game controller. A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that the average American child spends 44 hours per week (a frightening 6 ¼ hours a day!) in front of an electronic screen be it computer or television. Studies have linked excessive television viewing to obesity, violence, and lower intelligence in children. A growing wave of research indicates that children who spend time outdoors are healthier, overall, than their indoor counterparts.
Research has also shown children who regularly spend unstructured time outside:
- Play more creatively
- Have lower stress levels
- Have more active imaginations
- Become fitter and leaner
- Develop stronger immune systems
- Experience fewer symptoms of ADD and ADHD
Have greater respect for themselves, for others, and for the environment
That’s where your local parks, especially the natural areas, come in. Bring your children to Winston Woods and look under logs for insects. Take your kids fishing at Hidden Lakes. Watch migrating ducks at Gateway Wetlands. Watch migrating dragonflies (really!) at Prairie Trails. Birdwatch along the Lily Cache Greenway. Launch a canoe at the Royce Road trailhead. If you’d prefer a guide on your explorations, register for one of the programs in this brochure or participate in a SNAPs workday this fall.
Try to spend an hour a day outside with your children getting back to climbing trees, looking under rocks, and making mudpies. Even in your own backyard! Chances are, you’ll have a happier, healthier family, bring back some fond memories and spend some wonderful quality time with your kids, doing nothing.