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Get Off the Couch: It's July!!

7/2/2008 1:32:45 PM

Tags: ADHD, childhood obesity, nature, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, outside, inside, toy

I can’t believe how lazy kids are these days! I work part-time as a swim instructor during the summer, and this summer’s new pool fad seems to be the motorized submersible cruiser, which can be found at your local Target. It’s similar to the technology that scuba divers use; however, it’s made for little kids. This motorized swim toy, when turned on, can glide anyone 100 pounds or less through the water without any effort or, might I add, exercise. As if kicking was ever that hard for the rest of us.

The craziest thing about this toy is that parents are actually buying it for their kids going against any reports that discuss childhood obesity or ADHD in children. While it helps children get away from the T.V., this toy is just another excuse for kids to not have to do anything. You might as well just add wheels to your couch and go for a ride around the block.

Kids need to start learning more about nature and a little less about mechanical devices. The No Child Left Inside Coalition is working to advocate education for children about the natural world because with all the Nintendo Wiis, Facebook profiles, I-Pod videos and now motorized submersible cruisers, kids just don’t understand what they’re missing.

According to a study published by the American Journal of Public Health, nature reduces symptoms for children with ADHD. It is proven to give children superior attention and to improve their effectiveness. So, instead of hooking your child up to the next motorized toy, think about helping them become more in tune with nature with some suggestions from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service:

  • Take a walk in the woods
  • Lie on your back in your backyard and watch the clouds roll by
  • Turn over rocks in a stream and look for critters
  • Catch lightning bugs
  • Climb a tree
  • Fish at a local pond
  • Draw a picture of a tree and all the animals that live in it
  • Have a picnic at a local park

 One thing that I used to do with my dad when I was little is skip rocks at a nearby creek. It’s fun and doesn’t require a battery.

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