Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Plastic vs Bugs & Dirt

I've always been suspicious of plastic. I know its in every home and classroom, but it just bothered me that we use so much of it. I'm beginning to figure it out. For one thing, plastic is not good for our health. Two types of chemicals in particular have raised special concern lately. They are called phthalates (pronounced thal’ ātz) and bisphenol (biz fē’ nawl) A, BPA. Click Here to find out more about them and what countries are doing about it to protect its citizens.
There is another reason why I don't like plastic. I think it's bad for children's minds. Plastic has none of the rough surfaces and peculiar edges that natural objects have. The colors are ususally primary and not muted and varied as you see in nature. This is not good for the developing brain. How much brain power do you think it takes to process this plastic flower?

Now ask yourself, how much "brain juice" does it takes to process this beauty?

Kids need nature and plenty of it for their brains to grow lots of receptors and develop properly. There is a growing body of educators and researchers who believe that many of the increasing problems we are seeing in children today are due to their lack of exposure to the outdoors. Allergies and ADHD, to name a few, could be caused by our sterile plastic environments. Kids need to be in their natural habitat: Nature!

Here is a book I highly recommend. The author, Richard Louv is at the forefront of Nature Education today. If you want the facts and figures to back up this information get this book!Click Here for more information.

If you need motivation to get your kid outdoors get this book! (am I getting to pushy here?) This book helped me understand how important my work is to children and their parents. I am forever indebted to Richare Louv for inspiring me to introduce nature and science to young children.

Several moms from my after school classes have bravely formed play groups that do just what the film above illustrates. They take their kids to creeks and woods to allow the children to have some unstructured play and exploration time. No fancy playgrounds for these moms... I applaud you moms! Here is what one student brought me from one of his excursions into the creek!


1 comment:

Joshua said...

Groundbreaking points about plastic. I hope this catches on and more parents will notice and become more active in promoting awareness of this issue.