(Image by Trine [art arbre], Children bathing in the North Sea, July 2010.)

Children only spend half as much time outside in the nature as their grandparents were when they were children and lot less than their parents.

When grandfather was a boy 59% of his friends were outside in the nature every day. 42% of the parent generation were outside in the nature every day. Today only 26% of the children spend time in the nature each day. However asking the parents 91% find that being outside in the nature is important or very important and that the time they spend outside in the nature have had a very positive influence on their life and childhood.
The reason the parents and grandparents don’t take the childre more outside to the forest and the beach is because the work to much and the children are very busy with their computers, games and TV (81%). 61% of the grandparents would take the children more outside in the nature if they lived closer. The children also spend more time in institutions (52%) and are active with leisure activities (40%).
(Source, this article in Berlingske, Danish only).

A little while ago I wrote a blog about all the benefits there are for children spending time in the nature (see link below to the blog post “Why playing in nature is so good for children”). So when I saw the below videos I was thinking that giving nature a bigger role while children are in the school could be a very good idea.
And this article is about how the school garden is the new classroom: “The purpose of the new garden on the roof of a school in New York City is to reach students in a new, interactive way. School gardens provide obvious opportunities to tell children about the climate, good food and a nutritious diet, but they also pave the way for a more healthy life style using a different, more practical ‘hands-on’ way of teaching, that can be linked to practically every subject taught at the school.”

If students grow the food they are more willing to eat it, taste and experiment. They learn about composting, growing, pollination, every aspect of what it takes to grow food. And they also learn how to prepare the food and all the different possibilities to cook it.

Take a look at this video: Alice Waters on edible school yards

The video is described like this; “On the roof of the Robert Simon Complex on Lower East Side, there will soon be a roof kitchen garden. The garden belongs to three municipal schools in the area and will function as an outdoor classroom for students of all grades. The project is being managed by the designer of the World Trade Center Memorial, Michael Arad, who is also a parent at the school, although the idea for the garden and the initiative came from a large group of volunteer teachers and parents at the schools.” The text is from this website – take a look and read the full article:

Here another video about this school garden and the founder Alice Founder.

UPDATE Sep 2nd 2010:
I found these related projects:
Mud between your Toes‘ aims to connect children and young people to the world they live in – to experience, understand and celebrate their sense of place and purpose in the natural world and in their communities.

Crossing communities, cultures and countries Gardens for Life is a living network of schools that explores the world through gardening and growing food.

People and Gardens supply a day care service for people with physical and emotional impairments. We aim to promote emotional and physical well being through gardening and group activities within a real working environment. We are run by and for people whose lives have been affected by disability.

Written by Trine Plambech

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