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In the era of screens and devices, the average American spends 90 percent of their time indoors, and children are no exception. Not only does this phenomenon have consequences for kids’ physical and mental health, it jeopardizes their ability to understand and engage with anything beyond the built environment.
Thankfully, with the right mind-set, families can find beauty, meaning, and connection in a life lived outdoors. Here, outdoors expert Steven Rinella shares the parenting wisdom he has garnered as a father whose family has lived amid the biggest cities and wildest corners of America. Throughout, he offers practical advice for getting kids radically engaged with nature in a muddy, thrilling, hands-on way, with the ultimate goal of helping them see their own place within the natural ecosystem. No matter their location—rural, suburban, or urban—caregivers and kids will bond over activities such as:
• Camping to conquer fears, build tolerance for dirt and discomfort, and savor the timeless pleasure of swapping stories around a campfire.
• Growing a vegetable garden to develop a capacity to nurture and an appreciation for hard work.
• Fishing local lakes and rivers to learn the value of patience while grappling with the possibility of failure.
• Hunting for sustainably managed wild game to face the realities of life, death, and what it really takes to obtain our food.
Living an outdoor lifestyle fosters in kids an insatiable curiosity about the world around them, confidence and self-sufficiency, and, most important, a lifelong sense of stewardship of the natural world. This book helps families connect with nature—and one another—as a joyful part of everyday life.
An electronic version of this book is available through VitalSource.
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