Show 99 – Families in Nature

According to Richard Louv and conversations I’ve had with many others, it may be that connection with nature, not just as a recreational backdrop, is essential for human development…both for children and adults.



Guelph parents Luke Hill, John Jantunen and Anne Gajerski-Cauley discuss Families in Nature and specifically about their experiences and family adventures in the natural world and what they’ve found.





We also discuss:

  • how to connect with the natural world while living in the city
  • the difference between wild, domesticated, and cultivated
  • examples of interacting with our natural world
  • how teen years may be a key time for imaginative play and creativity
  • how connecting with the natural world can help adult relationships too


This show was inspired by the book “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv who coins the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe the human cost of alienation from nature. Teaching or avoiding direct, intimate contact with nature narrows our senses, contributes to weight gain and emotional and social mental health problems, and means we have less leisure time.


Richard Louv claims that the Baby Boomers, folks born between 1946 and 1964, may be the last generation of Americans to share an intimate, familial connection to land and water while the research suggests that contact with nature is needed for healthy child and adult development.


Some ideas to get started exploring nature:


  • take a hike
  • walk in your neighbourhood
  • make rubbings
  • nature games
  • walk at night and/or at the full moon
  • create a nature journal
  • have nature collections
  • dig a hole
  • saw a log or chop wood
  • listen with blindfolds on
  • lie on the grass and watch the clouds
  • take digital photography of the world around us
  • build a house, fort, or hut with sticks, boards, blankets, boxes, ropes, nails, snow


The Wilderness Awareness School

National Wildlife Federation – Garden for wildlife in your backyard

The Cloud Appreciation Society

The Kids’ Book of Weather Forcasting

Earthsong: Children’s Special Places by David Sobel

David Sobel on “Play Motifs”


Aired live: Sunday, May 13th, 2012 0800-0900 Eastern Standard Time on CFRU 93.3 FM, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Listen to Pod Cast (click on the link to listen or save this MP3 to your computer)



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