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Paperback Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder Book

ISBN: 156512605X

ISBN13: 9781565126053

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

"I like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are," reports a fourth grader. But it's not only computers, television, and video games that are keeping kids inside. It's also their parents' fears of traffic, strangers, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus; their schools' emphasis on more and more homework; their structured schedules; and their lack of access to natural areas. Local governments, neighborhood associations,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Makes some good points

I agree with Louv completely that time in nature and unstructured play are beneficial to children's physical, mental, and social wellbeing. However I felt that by the end of the book he was making the same claims over and over again. He also had a habit of citing inconclusive studies whose results MAY have supported his claims, but weren't actually definitive. I was also very put off by him implying that sending kids outside was a catch-all "cure" to ADHD. Yes it is beneficial to many children but it is also a complex issue, and many children respond positively to medications for managing their symptoms. Overall he makes some good points about the benefits of nature and play and the need to make natural settings more accessible, but it was lacking in consideration for some of the more complex social and biological influences in child development.

Eye opening

This book engages one to think about the subject of how to bring a child up in this world without preaching. It presents facts, and it presents the shortcomings of the information it has available, but asks the question what would be wrong with trying to change. I have never read a book before that made me think as much as this book did. It rekindled old memories of childhood that were almost forgotten, it encourage me to strike up conversations with strangers who asked what I was reading about, and it converted me into an almost preacher for this book. The book is not a non stop page turner, but it was fun to read; made my eyes well up with emotion several times; and most of all encouraged me to think about a subject that I did not realize had so much meaning to me.

Its pure common sense - get kids out of the house, get them moving and have them see the REAL world

My "wake up call" came when my friend from the city brought her toddler to my home and the little girl cried in terror when her mother tried to get her to put her bare feet on the lawn, a lawn that was free of anything dangerous. We don't have a dog so there weren't even any "droppings" to worry about. A baby who was scared to touch ground? Her mother admitted that her offspring had never felt grass because her mother feared it might be too full of "germs". I urged her to at least let her daughter smell a handful of freshly picked clover but she looked at me as though I were crazy. I then told her of summers spent barefoot, of exploring creeks and finding crayfish and even some snakes, of coming across a newborn fawn in the woods, etc. That's when I realized that there could be a whole generation of children losing touch with the natural world around them and I started paying attention to the kids and teens in our neighborhood. Sure enough, very few of them were climbing trees, exploring creeks, walking through the nearby woods. Very few of them built forts or learned the joy of wading in a cold stream or simply lying on the grass and looking up at the clouds, listening to the birds or trying to identify the different types of trees in the neighborhood. All of these things were common activities for me as a child (admittedly, during a time when tv channels were limited to 3 or 4 and there weren't video games or cellphones). If there is ONE POINT this book makes, it is that parents need to make an effort to help their children discover nature. Whether it is because parents are too busy or too fearful to let their children discover nature or whether kids have too many electronic devices to distract them and which prevent them from automatically turning to the pleasures of the outside world, the result is that children spend more and more time indoors and less time being active. Is it any wonder that there is an epidemic of childhood obesity? I'm not naive enough to suggest that spending time outside will cure obesity but I DO believe that it might encourage children to at least contemplate the idea of running through a grassy field, climbing a tree (carefully and respectfully) or simply chasing a butterfly through a meadow, trying to see where it goes. Most of all, this book might help both parents and children realize that nature can be as mysterious, powerful and awesome as any video game or television show (I'd say even MORE so). If our children, our future generations, are going to learn to care about the environment and preserving the wonders that are out there, it is up to parents, teachers and other role models in their lives to foster that appreciation...and, hopefully, that passion...early on.

Louv hits the nail on the head!

As a parent, grandparent and professional in the field of environmental education, I found Last Child In The Woods an excellent resource that supports what I have discovered first hand as the Director of an environmental center. It is a sad testimony of our times, the disconnection between people, especially children, and the natural world, that this book documents so accurately. Our research indicates that, of the thousands of 10 and 11 year olds that we have worked with (who live in a front range city in Colorado), over 60% have never taken a hike and 80% have never been to the mountains prior to participating in one of our programs. The long term negative implications of such statistics to the future of the environmental movement are clear to me - how will children grow up into adult citizens who advocate for the natural world if they have no direct knowledge of it? What Louv documents so well is how such disconnection from Nature negatively imapcts the health and well-being of individuals. I beleive that all parents and educators, as well as anyone interested in the health of our children and the health of our communities, will find very important information in this book.

unplug your kids - this book will convince you

I'm old enough to remember an unplugged childhood, and although I want my kids to play unfettered in the woods and waters, we're a different society today. We can't just let them wander alone, but we also owe them the natural formative experiences we enjoyed like building forts, treehouses and teepees, catching fish, frogs and critters, and observing nature - in nature, not through the TV. Although we try to limit the exposure to electronica - it's a pervasive force in modern life. Louv shows through dozens of examples where kids today get their lessons and experiences - more often than not through the TV or computer screen. He's concerned that a new generation of children is growing up detatched from the earth, who view it simply as a resource to be mined, drilled, and sold. He sees children losing the wonder of nature, and the earth losing a generation of would-be caretakers. As parents we don't have to move to Montana, or trap our meals to make a positive impact. It can be many little things, like catching fireflies, wading in a small stream with your kids, following animal tracks in the snow. These are all no cost and high-benefit activities that we can do with our kids to introduce them to the wonder that lies just outside our doors. This book is a call to action. I'm giving it to the principal at my son's elementary school. If you have kids, are thinking about having kids, or are concerned with the future of childhood - READ THIS BOOK! We had unplugged the tv for a few months and, frankly, were wavering. (We miss it too). After reading Last Child in the Woods, the TV is staying in the cellar. Maybe for the long haul!

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder Mentions in Our Blog

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder in Friluftsliv = Open Air Life
Friluftsliv = Open Air Life
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • December 04, 2020

Our current circumstances have a lot of people talking about the Nordic tradition known as friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv). Translated as open air life, it is the idea of spending as much time outdoors as possible, no matter the weather. So get on out there!

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