Curing Nature-Deficit Disorder with Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities

Before cell phones, tablets, and computers, kids spent more time playing outside. Sadly, many children growing up today have become detached from nature. This alienation from the natural world comes with a variety of negative side-effects, including attention difficulties, emotional distress, and physical illness. Nature-deficit disorder is a term used to describe these unwanted effects. Fortunately, spending more time outdoors with your little ones is a foolproof way to address nature-deficit disorder and help your family feel great!


Brought to you by StopNDD.org

Become Backyard Scientists

Are you fascinated by stars, comets, planets, and other celestial bodies you can glimpse in the night sky? Many aspiring astronomers start out at home, in their own backyard. It is possible to observe quite a lot about our solar system using basic telescopes or even the naked eye, but there are also many tools that can help you identify what you’re seeing and learn more about what’s out there.

by Home Advisor
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Winter can be a bear for outdoor-loving parents with young children. Getting outside in cold weather requires serious logistics. Layers must be applied. Matching gloves must be found. Potty breaks have to be coordinated. Frostbite has to be avoided. Try squeezing naptime into those scarce daylight hours, and a parent can start to feel like a tethered animal. It’s tempting to pull up Daniel Tiger on Netflix, brew another cup of coffee, and slink back to your desk to maniacally refresh your email.

by Outside Online
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This year’s summer reading theme is Summer of Science! I love connecting science activities with books {so much so I created a whole new website for it – more on that later}. I’m partnering with Edventures with Kids to bring you book suggestions and science activities to accompany them each week this summer

by Inspiration Laboratories
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Take science outdoors with a SANDBOX VOLCANO! When the weather is nice, try simple science experiments outside for a real hit with the kids. From pulleys to homemade ice cream, to bursting bags, this baking soda volcano is one of the coolest and easiest science activity for kids. Simple science and STEM activities are perfect for young kids

by Little Bins For Little Hands
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Head to the Mountains

by The Outbound Collective

My husband, Sam, and I completed our first backpacking trip together in New Zealand’s rugged mountains four months after we were married. Actually, it was my first backpacking trip ever. While he grew up with parents who frequently went into the backcountry, we were more front country, car camping kind of people. Despite the flies, the rain, and the incredibly steep trails, I was hooked after that one experience.

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by MSR Gear

When I’m not out wrestling polar bears, scaling un-scalable mountains, or leading groups through gale force Antarctic blizzards, I’m at home with my family. You would think that the offspring of a polar explorer would inherently frolic in the snow and cold. However, getting my kids (ages six and three) out snowshoeing can be equally as challenging as a two-month polar expedition.

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Explore the Beach

by Run Wild My Child

I’m so excited to bring you this guest post today all about exploring tide pools with kids. My good friend and fellow outdoor adventure mama Desirée Macke put together an absolutely fantastic post all about what kind of treasures you can find in the tide pools, when to go, what to pack, what to wear and even the best tide pool locations across the country.

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by My Kids Adventures

Building a sand structure is a great way to bond with your family at the beach. Use these easy tips to create a castle masterpiece instead of a massive failure! In this article I’ll share four simple secrets that will help you achieve sand castle success with your kids.

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by Caroline Duda

For many parents and students, the beach is a natural summer destination. Whether you and your child visit the shores of a lake, river or ocean, the sand, sun and water simply cannot be eclipsed by any other summer destination.

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Connect with Wildlife

by Back Road Ramblers

I never paid much notice to the birds until I had kids. With the exception of the cardinal and bluejay, they all looked alike, and I didn’t see any reason to know who was who. When the “but why” period started with my toddlers, they amazed me with their attention to detail, and because birds are less elusive than most wild animals, it was only natural that my kids would take notice.

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by Discover Wildlife

Most of us would like more wildlife to visit our gardens, and making your patch attractive to birds, mammals and invertebrates needn’t involve a lot of work. Here are our easy tips for creating a wildlife haven in your backyard.

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by Backpacker

Hiking in the winter can be a hard sell. I get it—gearing up for snow is a hassle (for kids and parents). But decrease the distance and increase the fun by tracking footprintsand other signs of wildlife on snow, and everyone’s happy.

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by Budget Travel

Why travel halfway around the world to go on safari when our own country is teeming with beasts big and small? We spoke to park rangers from coast to coast to find America’s most interesting creatures—and to get the inside scoop on where (and how) to approach them.

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Staying home may be easier than venturing out into the great outdoors with your kids, but the joys of exploring nature are worth a little work. Try to make it a habit to spend more time in your backyard, take family trips into the wild, and explore natural environments in your community. By taking steps to spend more time outdoors, your kids are bound to grow up with a great appreciation and respect for nature.


For more information about the author of this article, please visit StopNDD.org