Children need time to play in order for their brains to develop to their full potential, but only 4.1% of states require recess today.  No wonder our kids can become restless, disinterested or come home drained…Remember when your mom used to say, “Go outside and play!”  It’s not the same world today, but there is an organization right here in Chapel Hill that provides a safe and engaging environment for kids:  Learning Outside.

For middle and high school kids, it’s important to know that (according to Psychology Today) time in nature can help to alleviate symptoms of ADHD.  If your son or daughter is an HSP, it’s especially important to detox from the sterile school setting and have access to the beauty and simplicity of nature.  David Sobel writes, “If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.  Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, ‘the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings’ ” (Ecophobia:  Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education).

If you would like to learn more about “green therapy” and its power to heal and support our youth in the journey of living and learning, here are some additional resources:
Therapeutic Adventure: 64 Activities for Therapy Outdoors, by Roger Day

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv

Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality, by Eva M. Selhub

Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-being, by Esther M. Sternberg, MD

Listen to Spotlight on Learning with Sandra on WCHL Monday – Friday at 2:40PM


*Originally posted on