A Parent's Guide to Nature
Play: How to Give Your
Children More Outdoor
Play...and Why You Should!
Nature's Lessons for
52 Good Reasons to Get Out!
California Children's Outdoor
Bill of Rights
NWF's Nature Action Plan
AAP: The Importance of Play
in Promoting Healthy Child
Development and Maintaining
Strong Parent-Child Bonds
The mission of Amador Children in Nature is to
promote children's well-being through outdoor play.
Amador Children in Nature is made up of organizations and individuals from our local community that encourage free, unstructured outdoor play for children’s health and well-being. The group was catalyzed by a 2009 showing of the PBS documentary “Where Do the Children Play?”. More than 50 parents, educators and community leaders gathered for the event to learn about the importance of outdoor play for youth and share ideas about how to address this issue in Amador County.
The two main purposes of the group are:
- To work on meeting the goals identified by “Where Do the Children Play?” participants in the fields of health, education, policy and the environment (see action steps listed below);
- To act as a hub for sharing information relevant to getting children outdoors to experience nature through unstructured play or other similar activities.
A Yahoo! Group, “Amador Children in Nature”, has been created to help announce upcoming events, share ideas and facilitate conversations between group members. If you have information to share or would like to learn more about local opportunities that help promote free, unstructured play in nature, simply go to http://groups.yahoo.com , type in AmadorChildrenInNature (no spaces), and ask to be added to the group!
The action-steps are:
- Educate and empower parents to understand and value nature play and outdoor activities via informational meetings, packets and opportunities.
- Create lesson plans that restate the standards and provide an integrated approach to learning.
- Get the films to the leadership meeting with the idea of developing a resolution to redefine "seat time" as "instructional time".
- Local bulletin boards specifically for listing opportunities for children and nature.
- Published directory listing outdoor opportunities/ideas (not necessarily events).
- Published calendar listing daily, simple, unstructured ideas for children and nature (similar to First 5 Amador's School Readiness Calendar).
- Parental education about the health benefits of unstructured, outdoor play.
- Promote physical and mental health and well-being by assuring that kids have adequate time for outdoor play while in school.
- Develop a handout that health care providers can give to their clients with information about outdoor play.
- Work with local law enforcement to establish a Safe Walk to School Program.
- Establish policies that support diverse recreation for ages 0 and up in a safe environment.
- Draft voluntary policies that could be customized by parents and children to commit to outdoor play.