The (Truly) Great Outdoors

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"Why Kids Need a Big Dose of Nature" [usnews.com] obviously hit the right chord, as 95 percent of those who took your online poll agreed that children need to play outdoors to have a healthy childhood.

It's discouraging, though, when studies find that in a typical week, only six percent of children ages 9 to 13 play outside on their own, while they watch more than three hours of television daily. It can be a challenge for busy parents to identify outdoor activities that kids will consider fun. That's why the National Gardening Association started "growonder," an online guide available at www.kidsgardening.org/growonder, blooming with ideas to get kids in tune with their natural surroundings. Simply designating a day for immersing children in nature - without the TV, computers and video games - can serve as a beginning for children to develop their sensory-observation skills. Let them get their hands in the dirt and watch it unleash their imagination. By making outdoor activity fun, parents play an integral role in helping children appreciate the beauty of green spaces and understand the importance of being environmental stewards.

Amy Gath


Senior Consumer Insights Manager
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
Marysville , O hio