When I reminisce on my childhood, what stands out the most are my memories in nature. I look back fondly on these simple moments, far from screens and often even far from toys. Emerging research continues to highlight the diverse benefits children attain when they are allowed ample time to play freely outdoors.
As screens become more prevalent, it can be difficult to find time to play outside. Screens are not evil. They provide significant advantages in many facets of life. The danger of screen time for children is that each moment on a screen represents opportunities for real world experiences that are lost along the way. When screen use is fairly minimal, this does not cause any significant problems. We must, however, be aware that child development is thwarted when there is a large imbalance between virtual play and outdoor play.
This book is an offshoot of the 1000 Hours Outside movement, a movement I created in 2013 that challenges parents to match outside time with screen time over the course of a calendar year. Some time back I asked a question to adults on social media about where their love for nature began. The responses were endearing and inspiring. This book is my response to that question.