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Will Kids Who Don't Know Nature, Grow Up to Hate the Planet?

Will Kids Who Don't Know Nature, Grow Up to Hate the Planet?

After waking up to a bird singing the car-alarm song note for note the other day, this I can believe: a recent survey shows kids have almost completely lost touch with the natural world. Half of the 700 quizzed were unable to identify a selection trees, flowers, and animals, and playing outside ranked as their least favorite way to spend time. Computer time trumped backyard expeditions for most.

Think it's just a sign of the changing times, and if kids need to know what an oak tree looks like, well, that's what is Google is for? According to famed Brit nature program guru Sir David Attenbourough says it's a bad omen for the preservation of the environment.

The wild world is becoming so remote to children that they miss out, and an interest in the natural world doesn't grow as it should. Nobody is going protect the natural world unless they understand it.

The blame for the gap in knowledge can be spread around: overprotective (or disinterested) parents don't introduce kids to the outdoors, and ironically conservationists keep kids away for fear they'll damage the landscape. One "play development officer" (my next job please) says, "something magical occurs when children and wild spaces mix." The only way kids will learn to protect the planet is if they're allowed to learn about it through play — and kids are the future of the globe.


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