Unfortunately, that is not the case for most children these days. It is widely accepted in the medical community that unstructured outdoor play has many physical, cognitive and social benefits. Reduced obesity and stress, higher IQ’s and creativity, less aggressiveness and increased happiness are just a few of the benefits children and adults derive from submersion and immersion in nature. However, most parents are hesitant to let their kids experience this kind of freedom. Concerns over safety, busy schedules and lack of natural areas to explore contribute to this “nature deficient.”
But, we can still experience our natural world without fear. Florida still has many areas in which to immerse ourselves. Take some time this summer to get out and enjoy a walk around your neighborhood, visit a local or national park or come and experience what the Sawgrass Nature Center has to offer. You may be surprised what is in your own backyard wilderness.