On the heels of last week’s post about designing natural play spaces, I thought I’d follow up with 5 videos that I think, in one way or another, will encourage you to spend more time outside with your kids. Why? Well…because outdoor play is really, really important. Read on and watch these videos and you’ll see for yourself.
Nature Valley Commercial Contrasting 3 Generations’ Relationships with Nature
My friend Jen shared this video with me earlier this week. And it’s pretty powerful. Essentially it shows how children today spend a ton of time inside in front of a screen vs. outside like we did. Sure…it’s a marketing piece, so it’s edited and produced to make the biggest impact…and some might criticize it as being contrived. But the point still remains…with each passing generation our relationship with nature and the outdoors gets thinner and thinner. And as the “Let’s Talk” video below suggests…our kids will suffer the consequences – mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially. [NOTE: I just noticed that since the time of this post, Nature Valley made this video “private”. I’m sorry about that. But the heart behind the message still remains…so keep reading.]
After watching the video, I read some of the comments. And although I don’t agree with all of them, there are two that I do…both dealing with parents. So rather than stating the negative side of the coin, let me encourage you with a couple of challenges. As a parent:
- Intentionally make sure that outdoor play is something your kids do on a regular basis…it’s our responsibility.
- Appropriately model what a positive relationship with nature should be…and conversely, what a relationship with screens and devices should be. ‘Nuf said.
Let’s Go Outside | Let’s Talk
This is the first video in a series called Let’s Go Outside | Let’s Talk. It takes a more academic approach to explaining why unstructured outdoor play is essential to our children’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Produced and hosted by Marghanita Hughes, a nature art teacher and founder of the “Let’s Go Outside Revolution”…this video is essentially a chat session with Christina Towill, a registered psychologist and counselor.
I loved how…right off the bat, Christina describes “play” as the work of children. She goes on to drive home the point that unstructured, outdoor play…that’s self/child-directed (vs. adult directed)…is critical to the development of our children’s social and cognitive skills, such as: critical thinking, sequencing, problem solving, reasoning, organizing, and conflict resolution. It’s more than 8 minutes long, but it’s well worth the watch.
Get Outside & Play with Richard Louv
A post on the importance of outdoor play wouldn’t be complete without referencing Richard Louv…who I guess you could say is the guy when it comes to investigating and communicating how critical it is to spend time outside in nature…particularly children. He’s authored 8 books on the subject…including Last Child in the Woods, and is the co-founder of the Children & Nature Network.
In this short video, produced by The Wilderness Society, Louv reminds us “why it’s important to get unplugged and get out into the wild”. It concludes by asking you to take the pledge to “Go Outside & Play”.
Okay…after attempting to educate and guilt you into getting outside more with your kids (sorry…kinda), let me just try to inspire you to. This incredibly beautiful video short called Summer Feelings was created by Montaz-Rosset Films, “an award-winning producer of innovative and creative factual and commercial film, based in the heart of the Alps.” It’s actually what inspired us to create our Redeem Your Ground video.
This video isn’t explicitly about kids and getting them outside per se…but I think the gorgeous scenes and incredible cinematography may just help make that happen. That said, make sure you watch it in full screen mode to get the full effect.
Redeem Your Ground
At the risk of being just a tad bit self-promotional, I thought I’d round out this list of must see videos with the one we created for Redeem Your Ground. Now I said that the Summer Feelings video above inspired us to make ours…but that’s not to say we were able to replicate the views of the Alps in our backyard! However, with the masterful hand and eye of our friend Joe Braun (Best30Seconds), I think we did pretty well with what we had to work with. (Watch this one in full screen too.)
We produced the video to simply help others see the space outside the walls of their home as something more than a chore…something you have to mow and take care of. But rather, as a space that can really bring richer life to you and your family. Our hope is that it evokes fond childhood memories – carefree summer days playing in the backyard…inspiring you to get outside and play more, now and in the future.
That’s our hope at least. Regardless, my family and I…and about 25 of our closest friends…had fun outside making it!
Okay…enough screen time for me today. Time to unplug and get outside with my girls!
Take care all,