In his bestselling book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv argues that American children suffer from "nature deficit disorder," a lack of free play, exploration, and daydreaming in the outdoors. He links this condition to a host of disquieting trends among the younger generation, including obesity, attention deficit disorder, and depression.
Louv surveys the research describing the physical and psychological benefits children receive from immersions in nature, and concludes that regular outdoor play improves children's health, intelligence, and personality development. Louv laments that busy schedules, shortshighted urban and suburban
planning, and too much time spent in front of televisions, computers, and
video game screens prevent children from cultivating a meaningful connection with the earth.
In addition to diagnosing the problem and its troubling symptoms, Louv offers parents, teachers, and other concerned adults myriad suggestions to help children enjoy their time outdoors and develop a dynamic relationship with the natural world. Visit his Children and Nature Network to learn more about how to leave no child inside.