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How to Avoid Nature Deficit Disorder: The Case for Old-Fashioned Outdoor Fun

Parents are always worrying about whether they’re doing the right things. Are the kids getting too much screen time? Are they getting enough nutrients? Are they on the right track developmentally? One question that many of us may not think about is whether our kids are getting enough time outside in nature. This is the idea behind nature-deficit disorder: rather than a true medical disorder, it’s a term for the reality that many children (and their parents) don’t spend much time outdoors anymore. For parents who want to give their kids the benefits of being outside, here are a few easy and fun ideas to start clocking more nature time together.

What Benefits Do Kids Really Get from Being in Nature?

Learn more about the benefits of spending time outdoors and the dangers of being indoors too often.

Discover Nature Right Outside Your Door

The first step to getting your children outdoors is to enjoy some backyard fun.

Nature-Inspired Ways to Get Out of the House (or Even Out of Town)

Keep your kids entertained, learning, and inspired through birding, biking, camping, and more.

Overcoming Obstacles to Outdoor Activity

Sometimes kids will need a little extra support to truly enjoy the outdoors.

As parents, we already put so much pressure on ourselves to do everything the "right" way. The problem is that worrying over what we should be doing gets in the way of actually enjoying time with our families. So don’t let the thought of nature deficit disorder become one more thing you stress about. Instead, simply try an outdoor activity or two that your family likes doing together. Getting some fresh air and making time for family fun is what it’s all about!

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