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Childhood Without Trees?
TREES!!! Filmmaker wants your stories “I remember having a low-branched mulberry tree in our backyard as a child. We would throw sheets over its branches and it was instantly transformed into base camp for the neighborhood “archaeology dig” where we found shards of china that we were certain must have fallen off the wagons as the pioneers travelled west in their wagon trains. By night, it became the site of many a ghost story as we huddled close with our flashlights, wrapped in blankets to stave off the chill. Imaginations ran wild and friendships grew strong in our ‘tree tent’.…
Change a Child’s Life
If you are reading this, odds are that you care deeply about children. You probably have fond memories of playing outdoors as a child – exploring the neighborhood with friends, building forts and letting your imagination take you to exotic worlds. You probably would like to see your children and grandchildren have the experiences that brought joy and wonder to your own childhood. And, you’ve probably noticed that this way of life has all but disappeared from the lives of today’s children because of safety concerns, reduced access to nearby play spaces, overly structured lives and the appeal of electronic…
A Joyous 2014
Reflecting on the successes of the prior year is always a great way to start the new one. Last year saw continued progress in the movement to reconnect children with nature – here, nationally and internationally. We hope you will read full details in our 2013 Annual Report, but local highlights include the addition of helpful resources for families and educators with the launch of Green Umbrella’s Meet Me Outdoors website and our own School Program Finder. Nationally, the expansion of the Children & Nature Network to C&NN Worldwide was a milestone, and the American Public Health Association’s release of a…
Savvy parents know that outdoor play makes kids happier, healthier and smarter, but sometimes struggle to find fresh activity ideas, especially in the winter. If you are looking for inspiration, check out Nature Rocks! The Nature Conservancy partnered with Disney, the Children & Nature Network and EcoAmerica to produce a resource that will inspire and empower families to play and explore in nature, including your own backyard. And don’t forget, whenever you are looking for local places to go, events and programs, check out Green Umbrella’s Meet Me Outdoors website.
It’s Not Just About Obesity
Leave No Child Inside – Greater Cincinnati was founded in order to educate the community that time spent in nature is essential to the physical, mental and emotional health of all children. Because obesity is one of the most pressing issues facing the health community today (26% of children between the ages of 2-5 are overweight or obese, and that number leaps to 33% in school age children), it's easy to lose sight of other issues related to the relatively recent disappearance of unstructured play in nature. With the near extinction of that experience, we are seeing unprecedented levels of…
Where Nature Meets Story – for Parents and Educators
Research shows that spending time in nature makes kids happier, healthier and smarter. Reading is probably the single most important skill for achievement in school and success in life. So, why not combine the two? The Children & Nature Network’s Where Nature Meets Story is a place for parents and educators to find fun, outdoor activities for kids with a coordinated recommended reading list for toddlers to young adults. Explore a wide range of activity themes, including “A Fort of One’s Own: Making Hide-outs” and “Of Fairies, Gnomes and Hobbits: Imagined Worlds in Nature”. Check it out and start your…
Spring is Here! Resources for Local Outdoor Adventure
Spring is here and that means families will be on the look-out for fun things to do in Greater Cincinnati. For activities at area parks, nature centers and other outdoor venues, including your own home, check out these on-line resources: Green Umbrella: A calendar of regional programs and events from hiking to green energy symposiums. Stay tuned for the introduction of Green Umbrella’s special outdoor activity site, MeetMeOutdoors.com, coming soon! Grow Outside Guide to Outdoor Play: Includes activities to do at home or in your neighborhood, like how to create a Child Friendly Backyard and Fun for All Seasons ideas…
Winter Fun in Greater Cincinnati
Looking for family fun this winter? Green Umbrella will be expanding its website to include a Meet Me Outdoors calendar of events and programs in our region. But, while that is getting underway, you can see a list of some of the activities going on in December, February and March here. We can't wait for the new Meet Me Outdoors calendar!
Winter Family Adventures Program at REI November 28
Looking for ideas on how to continue your family's active, outdoor lifestyle throughout the winter? Greater Cincinnati abounds in opportunities to enjoy the outdoors all year around. Join us on Wednesday, November 28 at the new REI Store in Rookwood Commons as Jonathan Swiger, Family Program Coordinator for the Cincinnati Nature Center, shares ideas for winter fun, including full moon hikes, maple sugaring, ice hikes and winter tracking, as well as activities to enjoy in your own backyard! Children are encouraged to attend. You must register to attend, as space is limited. Hope to see you there!
Cincinnati Nature Center’s New Nature PlayScape
Who said that kids don’t play outside in the winter in Cincinnati? A recent trip to the Cincinnati NatureCenter’s new Nature PlayScape revealed plenty of area children at play in this fabulous new project. Don’t know what a Nature PlayScape is? Think about playing WITH nature, not playing IN nature. Learn more about this exciting project and plan a visit soon! It’s fun for kids of all ages and an inspiration to anyone thinking of building a natural play area at home, at school, or any place else, for that matter!