Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Getting kids outside: What's not to like?

Readers reflect on safety helmets and outdoor thermometers that boast, "never go outside again to see what the weather is like."

Getting kids outside: What's not to like?

Youngsters run through the woods at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Roxborough. The center, known for its nature programs, will begin a nature preschool in the fall.
Youngsters run through the woods at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Roxborough. The center, known for its nature programs, will begin a nature preschool in the fall. RON TARVER / Staff Photographer

This morning's column about the movement to get kids into the great outdoors has generated some wonderful comments.

The prize so far goes to one reader who identified him/herself only as "over 65." That person wrote, "Maybe kids stay inside with their video games because it's about the only activity left where they're not made to wear helmets." 

I burst out laughing.

Mark wrote: "I am saddened that in our effort to allow our children to have a life full of experiences, we micromanage instead.  So those times of wandering around aimlessly, without an agenda or care, are lost.  It's in some of those moments that an idea pops up or just the simple idea of being in the moment becomes profound.  We're not doing our kids any favors by having them indoors all the time."

And then Mark followed it up with a second email that comes in a close second to the one "over 65" sent: "Was looking at purchasing an outdoor thermometer and had to share this prominent selling point: Accurate Outdoor Temperatures Displayed in the Comfort of Your home. Never go outside again to see what the weather is like. This wireless digital station is capable of collecting and electronically transmitting weather data directly into the comfort of your home.

... How sad. We want to electronically live outside? Guess that's the message."

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
About this blog

GreenSpace is about environmental issues and green living. Bauers also writes a biweekly GreenSpace column about environmental health issues for the Inquirer’s Sunday “Health” section.

Sandy Bauers is the environment reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She lives in northern Chester County with her husband, two cats, a large vegetable garden and a flock of pet chickens.

Reach Sandy at sbauers@phillynews.com.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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