Get Wild, Child! Celebrate National Wildlife Week March 15-21

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National Wildlife Week (March 15-21) encourages kids to unleash their wild child to learn, explore, and discover, surrounded by a world of green. The 2010 theme, Be Out There at Home, School, and Play, will bring children and their families together in nature.

Swan Family, copyright Mary A. Fusco

We're raising a generation of indoor children who are missing out on the simple joys found in nature

It’s time to get those “inside kids” to take a walk on the wild side, and National Wildlife Week is the perfect time to do it.

Sponsored by NWF, National Wildlife Week (March 15-21) encourages kids to unleash their wild child to learn, explore, discover and imagine, surrounded by a world of green. The 2010 theme, Be Out There At Home, School and Play, will bring children and their families together in nature, get schools involved in going green, and will show kids how the outdoors can be a favorite play space.

The rise of the indoor childhood
The first National Wildlife Week observance took place more than 70 years ago when kids spent time climbing trees, skipping stones, and running barefoot in the grass. Oh, how times have changed. Today’s average child spends only 4-7 minutes outside each day. Compare that to the astounding 7 hours and 38 minutes per day the average kid spends engaged with electronic media, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“We’re raising a generation of indoor children who are missing out on the simple joys found in nature,” said Rebecca Garland, Executive Director of NWF’s Be Out There movement. “Our kids need to know why they call it the great outdoors.”

First Lady Michelle Obama’s new anti-childhood obesity initiative says “Let’s Move”. National Wildlife Federation says “Let Move–Outside”.

A part of National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement, celebrating National Wildlife Week is a way to develop happier, healthier kids with a lifelong appreciation of nature. Visit nwf.org/WildlifeWeek for Be Out There resources for kids, parents and educators, including an official Family Activity Passport with a week’s worth of local plant and animal watch lists and fun nature-themed games.

Don’t forget to spring forward your clocks on March 14, and enjoy one extra hour of daylight outside during National Wildlife Week March 15-21. Get wild, child!

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Mary Burnette
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