Back To Nature: Outdoor Play May Help Children With ADHD

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As common sense tells us and research confirms, all children can benefit from dropping their electronics and playing outside more often. But a number of studies have focused on the effects of Mother Nature on a particular group of children—those with ADHD. The results are not necessarily surprising. Just as time spent in a natural setting can calm and balance those without attention deficit disorders, unstructured play time in “green” environments has been shown to ease the symptoms of ADHD.

Of course, getting your child with ADHD to see the backyard as a better source of entertainment than the television might be easier said than done. Check out these resources to help you start instilling your child with appreciation for the great outdoors! 

  • The National Wildlife Federation has a Parents’ Guide with tips for engaging your child outside, as well as plenty of ideas for fun outdoor excursions.
  • The National Audubon Society provides tips and activities for making nature a part of family time.
  • The World Forum Foundation offers Toolkits for Families and Toolkits for Educators with activities for children ages 3–8. Their Resources page can help you get involved or simply learn more about the movement to reconnect children with nature.
  • And of course, a family vacation to a national park is a great way to awaken your child to the wonders of nature and create a lasting memory. Though national parks are often seen as summer destinations, you can actually plan your vacation for any season of the year.