Last Child in the Woods

I have talked to people about this book so much, that I thought I would post about it.  I think it is especially good for parents and grand parents.
Whenever we start design on an outdoor project, we always hope that it is used and considered valuable to the client.  In this book, Richard Louv give us all good motivation for encouraging all people to go outside and enjoy nature.  Nature should be enjoyed by real life not always learned about on a video screen.  And nature is not always a grand park or vacation.  Nature is easily found all round us: in trees, in bugs, in woods,  in puddles, in clouds in the sky...

He especially points to how "play" for children has changed from us baby boomers' childhoods to current generations.  Many of us "old timers" would go outside and  build forts with sticks, play with bugs, pick flowers or in general just mess around outside when we were kids. However many children today do not have the same outlet.  Granted it is a different world. But everything is so regulated and scheduled for kids today, that the point is interesting that maybe, just maybe the activity of going outside and playing with sticks and bugs and even being bored is a needed freedom and creative outlet that helps ground and develop children.

Just one example of his thoughts that I like. He says that not only do we not encourage kids to enjoy the outdoor world enough, but in some communities if the children were to actually build a fort or a hut in their yard, they might very well be breaking some HOA's (Home Owner Association) law, a get the parents  fined!   Pointedly, he points out that this rustic, crude child play of fort building is where future engineers and architects learn basic principles on construction, etc.

In my grandfathers day, the kid who stayed indoors and quietly read a book was probably the kid they wanted to take to the doctor, and the kid that had energy and had to go outside and do something was the star kid.  That was the kid that could help with the farm, etc.  So times do change.  But maybe a person's developmental needs are the same.

Maybe there is a physical need that is fulfilled when people go outside for a walk or watch the birds in a garden or go for a swim or just sit in a hammock and listen.  If that sort of activity has ever helped you as an adult, imagine how much a young person needs it.

Several years ago I learned about this book by seeing a list of what the Dean of the University of Georgia's College of Environment and Design was reading.

And I probably picked it because you gotta like the a book that has a kid and frog having a stare off!

Here is a link to it on Amazon:

Last_Child_In_the_Woods_Quote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *