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Let Them Climb Trees! The decline of play outdoors and the rise of sensory issues

Children playing in the mud

Let Them Climb Trees! The decline of play outdoors and the rise of sensory issues
March 8, 2017

Angela Hanscom, TimberNook

As we continue to decrease children's time and space to move and play outdoors in schoolyards, urban forests, and other green spaces, we are seeing a simultaneous rise in the number of children that are presenting with sensory and motor deficits. At the same time, classroom teachers are observing more and more children having trouble with attention, falling out of their seats in school, increased clumsiness, and even aggressiveness with games like tag on the playground. So, how can we reverse this alarming trend of sensory and motor issues in children? How can we ensure that children are fully engaging their body, mind, and all of their senses? Using the same philosophy that lies at the heart of her popular TimberNook program - that nature is the ultimate sensory experience, and that psychological and physical health improves for children when they spend time outside on a regular basis - Angela Hanscom offers several strategies to help children thrive in outdoor environments using a therapeutic approach to nature play.

Presentations

View the webinar podcast

Let Them Climb Trees! The decline of play outdoors and the rise of sensory issues
Angela Hanscom
Pediatric Occupational Therapist & Founder
TimberNook

Resources

Related Resources

The Children and Nature Initiative
The National Environmental Education Foundation’s Children and Nature Initiative educates pediatric health care providers about prescribing outdoor activities to children. The initiative connects health care professionals with local nature sites so they can refer families to safe and easily accessible outdoor areas.

Children & Nature Network
Research, tools, and other resources to connect youth and families to nature can be found at The Children & Nature Network.

US Forest Service Resources

Kids in the Woods
The U.S. Forest Service’s Urban Forestry South provides resources and ideas for increasing the amount of time kids spend outdoors.

Children’s Forests
Children’s Forests are places where kids and families are connecting to the outdoors. Visit your local Children’s Forest for a high quality outdoor learning experience created by kids and their communities.