Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

 
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Richard Louv was the first to identify a phenomenon we all knew existed but couldn't quite articulate: nature-deficit disorder. His book Last Child in the Woods created a national conversation about the disconnection between children and nature, and his message has galvanized an international movement. Now, three years after its initial publication, we have reached a tipping point, with Leave No Child Inside initiatives adopted in at least 30 regions within 21 states, and in Canada, Holland, Australia, and Great Britain.

This new edition reflects the enormous changes that have taken place since the book—and this grassroots movement— were launched. It includes:
• 101 Things you can do to create change in your community, school, and family.
• Discussion points to inspire people of all ages to talk about the importance of nature in their lives.
• A new afterword by the author about the growing Leave No Child Inside movement.
• New and updated research confirming that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.

This is a book that will change the way you think about your future and the future of your children.

“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” reports a fourth grader. But it’s not only computers, television, and video games that are keeping kids inside. It’s also their parents’ fears of traffic, strangers, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus; their schools’ emphasis on more and more homework; their structured schedules; and their lack of access to natural areas. Local governments, neighborhood associations, and even organizations devoted to the outdoors are placing legal and regulatory constraints on many wild spaces, sometimes making natural play a crime.

As children’s connections to nature diminish and the social, psychological, and spiritual implications become apparent, new research shows that nature can offer powerful therapy for such maladies as depression, obesity, and attentiondeficit disorder. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade-point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that childhood experiences in nature stimulate creativity.

In Last Child in the Woods, Louv talks with parents, children, teachers, scientists, religious leaders, child-development researchers, and environmentalists who recognize the threat and offer solutions. Louv shows us an alternative future, one in which parents help their kids experience the natural world more deeply—and find the joy of family connectedness in the process.

Customer Reviews:

  • Just the beginning
    I agree with another reviewer, who wrote that anyone buying this book already feels the pull to nature. And frankly just reading some of the other reviews helped solidify my own belief of how valuable nature time is for children.

    And some attention to how communities and groups can re-establish the pathways to nature are good to bring out the activist in ourselves.

    What those of us nature-cravers need most, though, are some how-to's. The section of the book "The Nature-Child Reunion" is fabulous for this, and continues in the theme that the contact with nature should be unstructured.

    There is a long list of books at the back for further reading, fortunately cataloged in the Amazon citations list so I can click to check it out....more info
  • Good book, good ideas
    The book has excellent information and a an better message that I agree with wholeheartedly. The only problem is that it is written with fairly complex psychological information which is hard to follow at times. Otherwise, I liked the book. ...more info
  • Insightful, important book
    I whole-heartedly recommend this important book. Richard Louv's book sparked a movement that had been simmering under the surface for some time -- with the rapid growth of technology in recent years, our children are spending less and less time outside.

    I work with Green Hour, a campaign of the National Wildlife Federation, that aims to inspire parents to encourage their kids to turn off the computer, IPod and TV and GET OUTSIDE! Check out www.greenhour.org to find the tools you need as a parent to help fight nature deficit disorder.

    Childhood obesity, ADHD, and basic developmental problems have been associated to this broken link with the outdoors.

    The new edition is great -- there are ideas in the back for getting kids outdoors...

    Anne Keisman
    Green Hour...more info
  • Too much of the same thing
    The whole concept is an interesting one but the book drug on with the same message....more info
  • A Timely Book
    This is an interesting and timely book. I happen to be the parent of a 17 year old who is lucky enough to live on a large tract of land, but might as well be living in a New York high-rise for all the good it does him. When he seeks entertainment, it's usually electronic in nature--TV, computer, video games. When I was growing up, the outdoors was our entertainment and we didn't have all those modern distractions. Louv states his case eloquently and passionately: "Not only can nature teach kids science and nurture their creativity, but nature needs its children: where else will its future stewards come from?" One of the fourth graders he interviewed said "I like to play indoors better, 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are." That's scary....more info
  • Last Child in the Woods
    Awesome! A must read for the "Green Revolution" and as importantly for your "heart & soul"!!!...more info
  • Excellent
    Richard Louv puts into words all the theories that my husband and I have come up with all through the parenting of our kids. And being the parents of 25, 23, and 20 year olds, I can say that they have benefitted greatly from being in the real world -- the natural world. And we can't get one of them to come indoors -- he's an environmental scientist and we're all proud of it. By the way - he got the second copy of this book and concurs!...more info
  • Finally, a ray of hope
    Until I read Richard Louv's book, "Last Child in the Woods," I only had two books on my shelf that merited permanent allegiance: Aldo Leopold's Sand County Almanac (Outdoor Essays & Reflections)" and Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring." Both works were thoughtful and intelligent observations on the natural world and how we affected, and were affected by it. But they also left me slightly depressed. I felt hopeless and unsure of how to regain the ground we had lost. Although "Last Child" has numerous examples of what we've lost (including old-fashioned goofy play outdoors and an early-learned appreciation of nature), his research and interviews also focused on ways individuals and communities are turning dire predictions into positive ways to return childhood to children, and nature to families who have forgotton, (or maybe never learned,) how much we need it to survive and be healthy. Louv gathered and stitched together ideas that previously many others have tried to communicate, and this book is now my backup when I am trying to explain why I am hopeful about the future. What started as a catchy phrase ("nature deficit disorder") has morphed into a growing movement, and maybe this time the children will lead us all back into a more healthy and balanced way of living. ...more info
  • Observe! Observe! Observ! and Interact!
    To make it possible for a child to be in nature - to observe interactions is to discover one's self. Yes learning to use computers is important in this world but it takes creativity to be able to invent them....more info
  • very important reading for parents but a bit dry
    Although I personally believe this book covers a very important subject, I found the book to be a bit academic & dry. Does contain many sources of further readings, ideas to improve upon city & suburbian planning for increased green spaces & resources for additional information.

    This book highlights the very important fact that kids are spending more time indoors and experiencing minimal outdoor life. Because of this, there is little connection to the natural world. The author proposes that eventually this nature-deficit will lead to a lessened concern for the environment. This in turn will "disconnect" them from nature and effect future political & societal envirnonmental movements, as the majority of people will have spent minimal or almost no time outdoors in their youth.

    The book also cites very compelling evidence through numerous studies that strongly suggests that many kids' physical and mental illnesses are connected to lack of exposure to nature. Additionally, the author discusses reasons parents are reluctant to allow their children to play outdoors.

    I can't quite imagine parents that do not enjoy the outdoors purchasing this book-for they probably don't acknowledge that they & their children need to spend time outdoors- but there are suggestions on activities to introduce one's kids to outdoor activities.


    ...more info
  • Taking Back Nature ....
    I would have never heard of this book if it wasn't for my sister-in-law, who is battling lung cancer. She and I were talking about whether or not I should bring her some books to read while she was undergoing chemo and she happened to mention this book, as her school system was recommending that she read it before school starts in a few weeks. Naturally, I had to pick up a copy of it and was sold.

    This book (with a wonderful front cover, by the way ~~ my boys kept saying, "Mom! That kid's going frogging too!" ~~ they love frogs) is chock full of information and data and statistics. It is a book full of common sense and while Louv was very very careful to say that studies have not been done yet to proven that kids with ADHD disorders can be weaned from their medicine if they were outside in nature more, he offers that as a possible solution to solve a lot of mental disorders in today's society among kids and adults. He also offers a lot of other solutions as well ~~ different types of studies or programs that other people are trying to start up to recruit people back into living in a greener world.

    As a kid, I was not very interested in playing outside. I lived in a neighborhood in a small town. BUT my parents signed me up for junior naturalist programs, they took my siblings and me camping, they took us to the parks, they encouraged all kinds of outdoor activities. I did not get a chance to go into the woods by myself in the morning like my dad did while he was growing up (he lived in a very rural area), but when we were camping, I took advantage of playing in the woods. We were not encouraged to watch a lot of tv. That is a trend that a lot of my friends look down on me at ~~ I only have one tv in this house. My boys probably do watch a lot more tv than they should but whenever we get a chance, we are outside, working in the yard, playing or going camping someplace now that they are older and we can start introducing canoeing, hiking ... things that take you back to nature.

    Louv writes very compelling though throughout this book about today's generation and how they are drifting away from nature. He writes about the irony of people driving ATVs into the desert with their children to look at wild life and basically destroying the terrain with the automobiles and kids are "being exposed" to wildlife but from the safety of the vehicles. Or encountering kids who show no interest whatsoever in the wild life that the author had just spotted. There are a lot of stories that he shared ~~ personal and from other people. He also writes of the connection between kids being locked up in their houses all day and the rising concidences of obesity among today's children ... and so on.

    This is definitely a book for parents to read. I cannot write an accurate review of this book because there are too much information in here and one cannot honestly know where to begin. Yes, it can be dry reading in spots, but keep on reading because it gets better and more interesting. However, I do have a question for all those global warming experts out there ~~ how come none of you have read this book and tried to implement some of the theories into practice? I'd like to see this book touted more in the media.

    8-5-07...more info
  • Reclaiming Childhood
    I grew up in a very small and rural town. Growing up I was surrounded by nature and even though video games were popular neither my siblings nor myself nor any of our friends ever had to be forced to spend more time outside. We liked being outside. We enjoyed playing in the fields, woods, yards, and vacant lots that were around. Having become a secondary teacher and also having spent many summers working at a summer camp, I have noticed that many children and young people no longer have the same connection to nature that I had as a child. There are some who may ignore this shift in child development and reason that it's not significant and is simply an expected result of an increasingly technologically based society. But, as Richard Louv points out in LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS, such an attitude is severely misguided and ignores the disturbing consequences of what can happen if children aren't connected to nature. Though scientific in nature, the book is written for lay people. Therefore, the text is fairly easy to read and comprehend. Highly recommended for parents and people who work with children....more info
  • Persuasive and impassioned, though with some evidentiary gaps
    Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods
    This book makes a convincing case that many of our children are suffering from a deficit of nature in their lives. He connects this nature deficit to a variety of modern plagues, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, stress, depression, anxiety disorders, and childhood obesity. The evidence tends to be more anecdotal than systematic or experimental, but the cumulation of such evidence becomes persuasive.

    He attributes this deficit to many causes, including a loss of public spaces, the testing climate in public schools reducing recesses, the growth of organized youth activities at the expense of just messing around in vacant lots, parents' fears for safety, fears of litigation making cities reduce parks and playgrounds, electronic games and television, and various other ills. The causal links here are even more speculative but again, the story coheres well from an accumulation of circumstantial evidence.

    Louv's solutions seem to address symptoms, not underlying causes. Many are wishful thinking - - with so many social and economic pressures taking our kids away from nature, we need a significant restructuring to get them back. I'm not sure how to do this, but this important book certainly does a good job raising the issues.
    ...more info
  • Exhausting but Interesting
    While this book produced great topics of discussion among my book club, the author's pedantic tone made me want to whack my head against a wall. He is clearly dedicated to his mission, and the book shows an impressive amount of research, but gets bogged down with anecdotes. Plus, if you are a parent,chances are good you'll walk away feeling like you've failed your child in new and creative ways by not exposing them to nature.
    The good news is it produced a lot of nostalgia for days spent playing unfettered in a creek/woods and does have some concrete suggestions for how to detach children from their Ipods and video games. ...more info
  • Sappy with no depth
    The book came quickly and was in the same condition described. I have no problem with the seller. But the content of the book is lacking. I was expecting depth and real data to support their claims. Instead it was just a bunch of feel good mumbo jumbo. I totally believe children need to spend more time in nature, but this book did not convince me of that....more info
  • A Must-Read for Anyone Who Cares About Children
    This is a critical issue and something we may not be thinking about on a regular basis, especially since our own lifestyles, as adults, have effectively eliminated our relationship with nature. We need to keep alive the memories of our childhoods... walking in the open fields,digging in the backyard, collecting bugs, taking hikes, etc... because we may be the last adults to pass them on to the children....more info
  • A far from coherent attempt at an important issue
    Having bought Last Child in the Woods on the basis of the title without checking as deeply as I might have, I found myself finishing six other books while I was struggling through this, mostly on (southern) summer holidays at a camping ground surrounded by nature where I've seen three generations of youngsters growing.

    The topic is clearly worthy and important (so 1.5 points) and Louv does add the further point about youngsters needing outdoor space for its own sake (another 0.5 points) but a poorly structured melding of anecdotes and research results soon had me wondering just where he was going. Being strongly convinced by Judith Rich Harris's The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do (and Harris's clear use of anecdote and research results) I was also thrown by Louv's preoccupation with the role of parents and even more so his repeated identification with the fear epidemic.

    It wasn't until chapter 22 of 24 started to unambiguously invoke religion that I took another look at Louv's short bio on the back flap and spotted its admission that his livelihood is generated by the child advocacy scam which put to rest any hopes I might have still had for an outbreak of rationality.

    In the finish it became clear that his meandering was always driven by his too cute four year old's question whether God was married to Mother Nature or they were just good friends.

    If this book is to be of any value it will be in flashing yet another feel good topic at the attention threshold of those caught up in fear based memeplex that brings us child advocacy and American Christianity. It has no value to anybody looking for a coherent argument about the importance of reconnecting children with the reality of nature outside fanciful human notions of justice (let alone the more recent reinterpretation that justice equals revenge).

    If you want a strong story at the intersection of humanity and the natural world, I'd recommend Gabrielle Walker's Snowball Earth: The Story of a Maverick Scientist and His Theory of the Global Catastrophe That Spawned Life As We Know It which I read in one pass during a break from Louv (and looking across a stream at a cliff rich with strata and life). And just let the kids explore. It's their life, not yours.
    ...more info
  • The Adventure Rabbi says
    Whenever someone does not understand what we do at the Adventure Rabbi program, I ask them to read this book! As Louv teaches, (an echo of Rabbi Ben Maimonides) outdoor time is essential for the spiritual development of even the holiest of people.

    - Rabbi Jamie Korngold, the Adventure Rabbi, author God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi...more info
  • Highly Reccomended!
    Have you ever wondered how modern life impacts our thoughts, our health or our values? "Last Child in the Woods" begins to examine how children, our future, have and are being impacted by growing up in a society of technology, cities, lawsuits and schedules.
    I believe anyone would benefit from reading this book. Whether you agree fully with Louv's hypotheses or not, it is worth contemplating.

    As a young adult I have already witnessed the truth of what Louv writes in my life and in the life of those around me.

    ...more info
  • Every parent should read
    This book is a must for every parent to read. As a retired preschool teacher, I can tell you that children must get connected to their outside world if we expect it to be cherished again. Children must, on the other hand get disconnected from screens to reactivate their senses, their aesthtics and their creativity and imaginations.

    This wonderful book tells you how to start....more info
  • Leave No Child Inside
    This is a very important book for parents and those in the educational system to read and heed. This book has started a national conversation on what we can do to get our children outdoors and into nature....more info
  • Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
    Excellent - makes a strong case for children to wonder and wander. Strategies to make that happen will be our challenge...more info
  • Richard Louv Defines the Environmental Issue of the Decade
    Richard Louv's message of hope - for change and for a greater future - may be the key to keeping us all sane for generations to come.

    Making it even more powerful, the love for his own children is almost tangible as your make your way through the book.

    This essential book should be handed to every parent as they are discharged from the hospital with their newborns.

    ...more info
  • Kids need outdoors
    It makes you think of all the changes that have taken place, how kids used to walk themselves 6 miles from home and now some parents don't let their kids play in the yard without full supervision....more info
  • This is good medicine
    I grew up in a semi-rural area in the 1970s and my friends and I rode bikes, built forts and dams, climbed trees and played outside all day long and far from home. The outside world was our entertainment. I was 12 before getting a video game (Atari 2600)and there were few TV stations to watch.

    For some reason, I don't feel like my kids have the opportunity, or their parents permission, to do as I did. However, I still try to get our kids out and away from the Nick TV and video games and head off to hike in one of our several nearby forest preserves.

    Parents need to "push" their kids out the door and leave them alone to explore in an unstructured way the natural world beyond their modern day cocoon. I recommend this book to any parent who wants to enrich their children's life in the easiest most affordable way; by opening the back door....more info
  • it works
    My wife and I played in the woods; we taught our kids to play in the woods; one is an environmental educator; one is an environmental biologist....more info
  • expect to be more granola after this read
    This is an outstandingly researched book about the issues facing us as we increase our urbanization and decrease our access to natural spaces. It talks about the impacts on our children's development including the increase in ADHD and harm to creativity.

    I gave it four stars instead of five, because this is a call to action book with no clear path for someone compelled by the book to immediately go about making a difference in the larger world as a whole.

    It has already made a difference in our lives though. Last night, we dragged blankets and pillows outside as it turned dark to watch the stars and count the fireflies. The crickets sang our son to sleep and later I spent time on the internet looking up the National Wildlife Federation's backyard wildlife habitation....more info
  • We've created America's first de-natured Generation
    With "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder," author Richard Louv has a national bestseller to his credit.

    This is a must-read for anybody who cares about the state of our planet and our way of relating to the physical world. But it is also a must-read for anybody who cares about rising social unrest, crime, alienation, alarming levels of obesity, higher rates of physical illness and a range of emotional disorders among children and adults alike.

    Louv's key concept, "nature-deficit disorder," is a term that he has coined but uses with reluctance. His reluctance to use his own term comes from an understanding that in using such a term, it implies a pathology that exists independently of our having been the primary reason for its emergence. It is a sort of Pogo-like irony "we have met the enemy and he is us." If we look upon nature-deficit disorder as something that has always been there, then we fail to understand our role in creating it and may dismiss the challenge of doing what we can to try to remedy it.

    As Louv defines it, nature-deficit disorder is an alienation from nature, the diminished use of our physical senses and a fundamental disconnection from the natural world. In an era of electronic plug-ins with electronic technology, people in general but young people in particular are increasingly separated from the natural forces and processes from which we and all species on our planet have evolved. There is an ignorance of the natural world and of our place in it.

    The problem is particularly acute in terms of appreciating and understanding the natural environments in our own communities. Another irony: with electronic communications and media having made our world a smaller world, we have more general knowledge of the natural environments in faraway places--other countries and other parts of the world. Televsion, the Internet and other forms of mass media have made this possible. But we have less and less understanding of our local forest, our neighborhood wetland or of what remains of the natural environment in our own backyards or in our neighborhood parks.

    He cites myriad examples of the consequences of nature-deficit disorder but the most salient are among children. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are two of these. Among children today, diagnosis and treatment for these conditions is at record levels. A principal symptom of both is the inability to focus on a task or to pay attention for a reasonable period of time.

    Louv's book is not all doom and gloom. He offers many concrete examples for change at the individual, family, community and national level.

    My main fault with "Last Child in the Woods" is that Louv repeats himself often, re-stating the the facts in slightly different ways, chapter after chapter. "Last Child" would have benefitted by sharper editing and by reducing the number of pages by about 50 pages.

    Still, this is a must-read and I'm glad it has become a national bestseller.
    ...more info
  • The book that started a movement!
    This book is sweeping the nation for a reason, and should be required reading for anyone who works with kids, has kids, or was once a kid! Louv poignantly and convincingly reminds us of the value of play in nature for our children's physical, emotional and spiritual health. He has a delightful mix of annecdotes and research which hits home for both the casual reader as well as the professional. There is food for thought regardless of your walk of life. It's been so successful that there is a movement springing up across the country to reconnect kids with nature. I highly recommend this book to everyone!...more info
  • Inspiring and enlightening
    From the first chapter, this book has had a tangible impact on my life. I grew up in a rural area but now live in NYC and had sensed, but did not fully realize how important being in nature is for my physical, spiritual and mental health. This book has re-opened my senses to the truth that I am a part of nature and even though I live in a city, I have the obligation to care for the nature around me. I also work with children and am newly inspired to incorporate nature into all aspects of education.

    The only critique I have is that at times it feels like Louv is repetitive, and the directives about what can be done are sometimes broad, but the overall effect has been to inspire me to get out and DO something about the problem. ...more info
  • Have an exit strategy... buy this book and Sharing Nature w/Children at the same time
    This book and its author are inspiring and its publication has led to a nation-wide positive call to action-- namely the Children in Nature Network. For that, I have given it four stars. The book itself is really nothing new, but what it does do is provide the statistical backing for what you already knew deep down... that the current generation of children has a 'different', perhaps negative or lacking connection with nature than previous generations. I don't mean "nothing new" in a necessarily negative sense--as this book illustrates on a regional (global?) scale what is obviously happening... or, rather, not happening... in our own backyards. Finally, someone has put into written words what people have been talking about for years.

    The last few chapters of Louv's book unfortunately meander off onto tangents such as how green roofs save on cooling costs and help reduce global warming. But, the first few chapters are what make this book stand out.

    I highly recommend that you buy yourself a copy of Joseph Cornell's 'Sharing Nature with Children' if you are concerned about this issue. While Louv talks about the 'why', Cornell gives us the 'how' to get kids connected, with simple activities to do with children. So, buy both books, so you can move forward with knowledge of what's happening and with new tools for 'getting kids outside'....more info
  • Excellent Book. . . Now Go Outside!
    Louv claims that children spend less and less time outdoors because of parental fears, electronic toys and a variety of other reasons. He explains what the implications are for children and adults: attention problems, disconnectedness with the world, lower productivity. Louv makes the case for why and how parents, teachers and others should help children connect with nature. I really liked the book overall, although I felt like some of the chapters could have been more concise. The second addition has an appendix with a concise practical list of things parents can do....more info
  • Strikes a chord
    This book really struck a chord with me. Louv describes how today's kids are increasingly disconnected from the natural world and links children's increased time indoors, watching TV and playing video games, to conditions like attention disorders, childhood depression and obesity. It also highlights research that shows the power of time spent in nature to decrease symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and increase test scores.

    I am compelled to get outside for myself, and believe there is much good to be had from the nature experience for my kids. Louv captures those feelings in a compelling way.

    I highly recommend this book - for parents and for adults without children. ...more info
  • An Affecting Breath of Fresh Air
    I was lucky enough to have parents who gave us the oomph outside and didn't expect us back until my mother rang the dinner bell. Richard Louv takes us back to those days and makes a very strong and documented argument that, as a society, we have neglected to continue this healthy habit with the generation of kids today. The thesis that obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder and other maladies in children in the 21st century are due, in part, from our lack to teach the the age old joy of just getting outdoors is not a label nor accusation of this generation, but rather a motion for us all to help this growing generation appreciate the outdoors.

    As an alum from the U.S. EPA, and detailed with the Park Service in DC, I would love to place this in the hands of every teacher and parent I could reach. It's a fascinating picture of where we have been, and where we are going. Louv hopes we can change the latter, and makes a strong argument to do so.

    If you enjoy the outdoors, this book will solidify the benefits you receive. If you are a parent whose child is spending too many hours in front of the tube, this will provide some help in getting them to enjoy spending time outdoors. As a teacher, it's a living, breathing lesson plan to help your classroom get back into nature and develop more of an appreciation of all it offers.

    Enjoy it!! ...more info
  • A Book Everyone Should Read
    This is a book that delves into the importance of getting kids outside learning about their environment through all types of play. It is not a book that preaches to save everything, but encourages experiencing nature in a way that preserves it. It also sites the usefulness nature has on kids with ADD/ADHD. A surprising read....more info
  • Love it and so important for parents to read
    I agree with the author, kids need outside time (more than TV, WII or any other kind of video game). It is one of the best gift we can give them. ...more info
  • No One Knows How to Play Kick the Can Anymore....
    Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv is a timely book that needed to be written.

    The author's point is that kids today are facing a nature deficit and that affects childhood obesity and even the potential for the next generation to appreciate the breadth of nature enough to want to preserve it. After all, if the local mall has an arboretum and that's all you know as nature, that's all you'll expect.

    The culprit is not news to anyone, nor to any parent with enough income to plug their kids into all manner of electronic gadgets. Videogames, TV, computers and the like have proved a powerful pull on today's children. The cost is a lack of simple play outdoors, exploring creeks, fields, rocks and trees (the author doesn't count organized sports as nature exploration and rightly so in my book). It is sad, but not surprising to ask any kids under age 16 or so if the know how to play "Kick the Can." Hardly any do, and even fewer have played.

    Louv offers a lot of data to back up the negative effects of this nature deficiency and some prescriptions to turn it around. While reestablishing phys ed in school will help, the answer is simple: parents, unplug your kids and kick them outside.

    Having said this, I felt the author could have made his points and supported them in a long magazine article. There really wasn't enough for a full book and Louv gets repetitive and even inserts lists of ways to address the problem. I found myself scanning some sections later in the book because the points in those pages had been made before or the prescriptions he was offering were simplistic and I didn't feel worthy of the full play he gave to some.

    That being said, important argument and point, I just wish I would have read this in about forty pages in a periodical.
    ...more info
  • Last Child in the Woods
    As humanity goes deeper and deeper into materialism and our children are displaying symptoms in their emotional, behavioral and physical health, this book brings us back to the understanding that children are not little adults and human beings are not machines. The importance of self-discovery is being undermined through our over intellectualization on one side and on the other side the over protectionism of little ones. This surpresses the development of the imagination and intuition, which is so needed if our society is to refocus on humanity instead of amassing material good and consumption!!

    Thank you Professor Louv for your timely and VERY important book!!...more info
  • A Highly Recommended Gift
    I purchased this book as a gift for a seventh grade teacher.
    It was highly recommended to me by a wildlife rescue aquaintance....more info
  • Last Child in the Woods
    Just as people who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it, people who don't understand their roots and cultural heritage will be lost. Richard Louv show us how distancing ourselves from nature delivers dire emotional, and therefore health consequences. We are only a few generations removed from our roots in nature.

    Research has shown for years that a simple houseplant increases creativity, but this is a great book for the lay reader. It gives a basic background and solutions.

    I recommend it to everyone, but esp teachers and parents....more info

 

 
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