Playing in the United States National Parks Programs
As every day passes and technology innovations increase, today’s youth spends more and more time inside connected to electronic devices rather than enjoying all that the great outdoors has to offer. This lack of time in nature can lead to nature deficit disorder – a hypothesis by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods.
Our United States parks program in the southwest is an incredible way to avoid this issue by getting our youth outside with nature in an active and fun setting.
The ultimate goal of all our expeditions is to offer the highest quality customized educational travel program in the worldwide classroom. Playing outside is one of the additional goals for our southwestern parks program – “to let young people explore their own creative potential while exploring their own national parks. We also want their teachers on the trip to play and have fun with their students”, says Hannah “Banana” Feldberg-Dubin, Program Director.
All of this fun and playing in our natural treasures is incredibly beneficial to one’s overall health. According to the CDC and the National Wildlife Federation, below are some of the benefits from playing outdoors:
- Body - Builds healthy bones, muscles, and joints; Physical health is also essential in preventing childhood obesity, which is prevalent in one in three American children.
- Mind - Encourages more creative and imaginative thinking.
- Spirit - Reduces stress levels, improves mood, and lessens risk of depression.
On one of our recent expeditions, we took a break and stopped at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah to play in the sand. The sand dunes come from Navajo sandstone and are estimated to be over 10,000 years old.
The parks are a fun setting to explore personal creativity in nature as well. Students were challenged to do just this by building their own art projects with objects around them while visiting Horseshoe Bend, Arizona.
Students were also encouraged to challenge their artistic skills through working on a sand art project while visiting a Navajo Reservation in Utah.
And then it is always fun to get down in the dirt and make sand angels while in Mystery Valley, Arizona.
Click here to learn more about our programs in the national parks.