If you’re working on your list of New Year’s resolutions, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is recommending a resolution with profound impacts that will make you feel like a kid again. The National Wildlife Federation is asking Americans to “Be Out There” with outdoor activities play among children and their families.
Celebrity naturalist David Mizejewski says many benefits come with playing outdoors. “There are studies that show that kids are a lot more creative if they go outside to play. That just makes logical sense. If you’re constantly in a structured scheduled environment typically indoors, you don’t get to be creative and come up with your own solutions to problems,” says Mizejewski.
He says the the “Be Out There” program is there to help the nation’s children find something they don’t even know they’ve lost: their connection to the natural world.
“For the National Wildlife Federation, we’re obviously concerned about the fact that most kids can name a hundred different corporate logos, but they can’t name one tree or one bird that lives in their neighborhood. So getting outside is a great way for kids to get exposed to the natural world so when they become adults, they’ll actually have some frame of references and some kind of incentive to want to protect it.”
He says it’s a problem that many children don’t have the opportunity to take part in outdoor activities and the NWF is “trying to address this problem on that legislative level. Trying to make sure that we get some outdoor time and outdoor education back into the school day. Many places kids don’t even get to go outside during recess anymore,” says the naturalist.
Mizejewski tells that outdoor time significantly enhances children’s physical and mental well-being, “Something as simple as getting out and getting a little bit of fresh air and getting to run around and be outside. And we’re sort of formally taking that away from kids.”
Mizejewski is a featured guest on Animal Planet, Today, Good Morning America, and Martha Stewart.