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Get outside and play (in Ramsey!)
Have an active child or are you feeling stressed? Take a step outside.
Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after taking a hike, walking in the woods, or strolling down a tree-lined street?
According to a study conducted while Gregory Bratman was a graduate student at Stanford University, he found that volunteers who strolled briefly in a lush green portion of the campus were happier than those who strolled for the same time near heavy traffic. In Bratman’s experiment, half of the volunteers were randomly assigned to walk for 90 minutes in a quiet, leafy and park-like portion on the campus while the other half walked next to a loud, multi-lane highway in Palo Alto. Those who had walked along the serene tree-lined paths demonstrated slight but important improvements in their mental health; a portion of the brain, associated with depression, slowed down and showed decreased activity. These findings suggest that getting out into natural environments can improve mood.
But, did you know that being in nature may also improve your child’s attention and focus?
For these reasons, I LOVE getting my children outside. If you have an active child incorporate some green playtime into your child’s daily routines!
Spending more time outdoors also provides opportunities to talk about and describe the environment, problem solve, and learn vocabulary words associated with nature.
Ditch the screens and step outside!
Jordan, R. (2015). Stanford researchers find mental health prescription: Nature. https://news.stanford.edu/2015/06/30/hiking-mental-health-063015/
Faber, T.A., & F.E. Kuo.2011. “Could Exposure to Everyday Green Spaces Help Treat ADHD? Evidence from Children’s Play Settings.” Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being 3 (3):281-303.
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