Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The nature cure

"Take two hours of pine forest and call me in the morning..." The Nature Cure by Gretchen Reynolds in Outside Magazine, tells about the latest brain research on the benefits of being outdoors in nature.  Seems that even five minutes of time in the woods increases attention and short term memory, and decreases heart rate.  In Japan they even schedule "forest baths" as a restorative - like sun-bathing. Just smelling pine scent has a positive effect on the human system! 

Scheduling time to be outside - daily recess, Muddy Boots Club, science classes and other times in the woods  - is making a difference, I believe, for Parker kids.  The children express how much they love it and the teachers do, too.  It certainly seems to add to their ability to concentrate and handle the regular stressors of childhood - and it mitigates the screen time that has increasingly crept into our lives.  It's nice when brain science backs up what we instinctively know is the right thing!

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