Get Them Kids Out There

After you know who, there’s a growing movement to reconnect children and the great outdoors, and to battle "nature deficit disorder." Don’t laugh, it’s real and getting real serious. Well, maybe laugh a little–it's good for you.


...hearing birds chirp, smelling wildflowers, and looking under rocks...It helps kids feel connected to something bigger than themselves.

Why is getting children outside so important? Children benefit physically and mentally through spending time in nature. I’m not talking about watching the Discovery channel, I’m talking about hearing the birds chirp, smelling the wildflowers and looking under rocks. It helps kids feel connected to something bigger than themselves. This is something that has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years. And last, but not least, teaching children about mother nature creates better stewards of our precious natural resources. To understand nature deficit disorder just look over at your kids and ask them what they did today. If they answered the way I think they did, they let their day slip between their fingers -- or should I say mouse and remote controller.


...teaching children about mother nature creates better stewards of our precious natural resources.

Since its initial publication, his book "Last Child in the Woods" has created a national conversation about the disconnection between children and nature

Check out a book by Richard Louv called "Last Child in the Woods". The recipient of the Audubon Medal, Richard Louv identified a phenomenon we all knew existed but couldn't quite articulate: nature-deficit disorder. Since its initial publication, his book "Last Child in the Woods" has created a national conversation about the disconnection between children and nature, and his message has galvanized an international movement.


It’s why I live in this area, so I could offer that same carefree childhood to my children. You can do the same.

I know this feeling of nature deficit disorder first as a young adult. Having spent many years living in starless, grey, smelly cities. There is nothing worse than living in an apartment in a big city. I have no idea how I survived so long doing it. My only outdoor time was going to a restaurant or grocery store.


I remember a time when outdoor play was the norm... actually I had no choice because the house I was raised in was very small and there were five boys. We had no choice but to hit the creeks to explore and catch crawdads. There we would build forts, hold mock battles, run and play for hours on end. It’s why I spend so much time outside now as an adult. It’s why I live in this area, so I could offer that same carefree childhood to my children. You can do the same.


According to the ever-knowing Wikipedia (we can fact-check later) Nature-deficit disorder is the idea that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors than they have in the past, and the belief that this change results in a wide range of behavioral problems. Currently, this disorder is not recognized in any of the medical manuals for mental disorders.

Currently, this disorder is not recognized in any of the medical manuals for mental disorders.

Well, just to be on the safe side, we at 573 Magazine decided to help in this effort by providing a cure for NDD. So read these instructions carefully. Three simple little words that will change your life. Are you ready. Maybe hold on to something, it can be terrifying to some. Here goes. Get Out There!


-da editor