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1. It’s a Jungle Out There!: 52 Nature Adventures for City Kids

We all know children need to experience nature, but this can be a challenge if you live in the concrete jungle of a city. Author Jennifer Ward has found 52 “nature adventures” for urban dwellers.

Just because you live in the city doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy nature. This compact guide offers 52 nature-focused explorations, adventures, observations, and games that can help you and your child connect to nature while living in the city. While it may be hard to see nature through the traffic, buildings, and busyness of the city, there is still much of the natural world to explore when you turn your gaze to the cracks in the sidewalk, the trees on the street, or the green spaces that your city offers. Become an urban birder, make your own man vs. wild observations, and discover the not-so-hidden pockets of nature in your neighborhood. For children ages 4 to 8.

I grew up in the suburbs, had a small yard, and lived relatively near a park. It was fun to see some of the activities I did as a child in this book, such as “seed soar” and “cool shadows”.  This book is divided by season, which makes it easy to find the right activity anytime of year.

We have reviewed Jennifer’s first book (i love dirt!).

Would I buy this book?  Maybe.  As I mentioned before, the activities seem to be things kids can naturally think of themselves if they spend time outside, but for the child (and parents) who are indoors all the time glued to the screen, this book could be very useful to inspire.  Obviously, my family is not the intended audience, and I do like the layout and ideas Jennifer presents. [Read more…]

New Study: Inner City Children Residing in Green Neighborhoods Grow Up Healther

row houses in BaltimoreInner city kids have it hard for a variety of reasons. From poverty to low performing schools, these children often suffer from poor diets and nature deficit disorder.

A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has found that greener (i.e. vegetation in yards, parks, etc.) inner city neighborhoods result in healthier children.

Researchers from the University of Washington, Indiana University, Purdue University and Indiana University School of Medicine followed more than 3,800 children between the ages of 3 and 16 for over two years. The predominantly African American and poor children’s neighborhoods were measured for “greenness” by using satellite imaging data of vegetation. Janice F. Bell, PhD, University of Washington assistant professor in the department of Health Services at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, explains the results: [Read more…]