What is a Green Hour?
A Green Hour is time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world.
In 2007, the National Wildlife Federation launched www.GreenHour.org, an online resource providing parents the inspiration and tools to make the outdoors a part of daily life.
The National Wildlife Federation recommends that parents give their kids a "Green Hour" every day.
This can take place in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street, or any place that provides safe and accessible green spaces where children can learn and play.
Scientific research shows kids are happier and healthier when outdoor time is in better balance with indoor time.
Here are some fun seasonal activities for engaging Children in Nature.
Plus, your children will enjoy our "For Kids" webpage, where they can click on the critters & objects and discover even more activities and ideas that will help connect them to Nature!
The North Face Launches Explore Your Parks
The North Face announces the launch of the Explore Your Parks program, a partnership with the Maryland and Virginia State Parks, American Hiking Society and The National Park Trust, to encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy state parks in the Washington, DC, area this fall. By providing families the tools they need to enjoy the open spaces near them, these groups are actively supporting Let's Move Outside, the outdoor recreation component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign to end childhood obesity.
Resources for Parents
Mapmaking from the Inside Out: The Cartography of Childhood
- by David Sobel
"It was our heart's desire all the autumn of fourth grade. The corn fields, overgrown pastures, thickets, and wetlands of the old farm stretched out just behind Kevin's house. They were strictly off limits, of course. No Trespassing signs hung on the barbed wire at the far end of our kickball left field. But this patchwork of countryside lured us as if we were compass needles and there was a giant horseshoe magnet buried in a field-stone root cellar somewhere out there." - David Sobel
Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education
by David Sobel
"While children are studying the rainforest, they are not studying the northern hardwood forest, or even just the overgrown meadow outside the classroom door. Lucy Sprague Mitchell, educator and founder of Bank Street College of Education, spoke of the 'here and now,' the local forest or urban neighborhood, as the basis for her curriculum with six through nine year olds. It is not until children are thinking logically and abstractly enough that she would embark on the 'long ago and far away.' It is hard enough for children to understand the life cycles of chipmunks and milkweed, organisms they can study close at hand. This is the foundation upon which an eventual understanding of ocelots and orchids can be built." - David Sobel