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“The children and nature movement is fueled by this fundamental idea: the child in nature is an endangered species, and the health of children and the health of the Earth are inseparable.” —Richard Louv, from the new edition

In his landmark work Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv brought together cutting-edge studies that pointed to direct exposure to nature as essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. Now this new edition updates the growing body of evidence linking the lack of nature in children’s lives and the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Louv’s message has galvanized an international back-to-nature campaign to “Leave No Child Inside.” His book will change the way you think about our future and the future of our children.

“[The] national movement to ‘leave no child inside’ . . . has been the focus of Capitol Hill hearings, state legislative action, grass-roots projects, a U.S. Forest Service initiative to get more children into the woods and a national effort to promote a ‘green hour’ in each day. . . . The increased activism has been partly inspired by a best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods, and its author, Richard Louv.” —The Washington Post

Last Child in the Woods, which describes a generation so plugged into electronic diversions that it has lost its connection to the natural world, is helping drive a movement quickly flourishing across the nation.” —The Nation’s Health

 “This book is an absolute must-read for parents.” —The Boston Globe
 Now includes
A Field Guide with 100 Practical Actions We Can Take 
Discussion Points for Book Groups, Classrooms, and Communities 
Additional Notes by the Author 
New and Updated Research from the U.S. and Abroad

Topics: The Environment, Parenting, Child Development , The Outdoors, Education, Family, Poignant, Informative, Exercise, Essays, and Guides

Published: Workman eBooks on
ISBN: 9781565125865
List price: $15.95
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Although there were probably flaws in this book and in some of the author's arguments and suggestions, I gave it five stars because I think it's an important topic that was reasonably well addressed. Even as a fairly sedentary child who loved to read above all things, I spent plenty of time outdoors, climbing trees in the swamp behind our house, imagining on the rocky beach of Long Island Sound, throwing sticks for my grandfather's dog to catch.... My own children had more freedom than many in their generation, though probably not as much as I, and we did take them camping a lot. They have often remarked about kids they've babysat or nannied for that they do not (and often aren't allowed to) spend much time outdoors even when there is ample opportunity. I think this is an important book for parents, grandparents, and school administrators, among others. I would disagree with the author's idea that giving your kids a cell phone to take into the woods (or other natural area) is a necessary precaution. But if that's what it takes to get them outside, I guess it's OK.more
Enlightening, encouraging, depressing....so much great information and an interesting read. I have a bias that leans toward the outdoors already, so maybe this wouldn't strike the same chord with everyone, but I was regularly spouting information from this book to anyone who would (or wouldn't listen). Kids need nature - already knew that, this just reinforces my dedication to that idea. It's also a great book to keep around as a reference with a bunch of web sites and ideas for nature activities at the end of the book.Regardless of where you live, be it city, suburbia or somewhere more wild, there's nature there for the enjoying and this book explains why it's so very important for children (and adults) to make the most of it.more
This book was a bit of a chore. Mr. Louv spent a great deal of time driving his point home, which was probably helpful for the skeptics that were reading it. I'm not a skeptic, so I found myself thinking, "Okay, I get it, move on please!" This was good information, but it was a little too preachy for me. It did make me get my kids outside more, though, and since that's the whole idea of the book (in a nutshell) then it is at the very least effective.more
I'm reading this book now for a book group, and honestly, if I had a reason to quit reading it I would. It's a really boring collection of studies, really. I'm 200 pages in and so far I've gone paragraph to paragraph with statements like "in a 2007 study so and so Ph.D. found that blah blah blah" and "in 2003 a study found that blah blah blah". I would rather NOT read a compilation of studies. I much prefer a clear narrative.Boring.more
Way too preachy with little empirical evidence behind any point made. Science journal readers beware.more
Important book that shows, among other things, the relationship between the natural world and what students gain from spending time in the outdoors.If you think students do not need time in the natural world, you really need to read this book.For me, growing up in Oregon (surrounded by mountains on three sides and a river on the fourth side) has provided a "nature filter" that influences me in many ways as described in Louv's book.I will strongly suggest this book to all parents, especially those parents who are connected to the Fulmore GT program. LAST CHILD in the WOODS is one of the main justifications for the nature emphasis in the GT program.While talking to Mrs. Rushing (6th grade science teacher) we were discussing the overall (within AISD and the nation) low scores in science. Perhaps the fact that children spend fewer and fewer hours outside might have something to do with the scores. If students are not outside observing the natural world, questioning the natural world, experimenting in the natural world, exploring the natural world, or experiencing the natural world, then how are they going to develop a scientific frame of mind.more
A must use book for any environmental science course. It discusses the need to explore and examine nature, as this experience helps one to learn more about science, manipulative tools, and appreciate nature.more
Parts of this flow and engage really well, other parts less so. A valuable read.more
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19:1 NIV) "In my first counseling job, I took children with AIDS to the mountains who had never been out of their urban neighborhoods. One night, a nine year-old woke me up. She had to go to the bathroom. We stepped outside the tent and she looked up. She gasped and grabbed my leg. She had never seen the stars before." --Madhu Narayan "I like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are." --San Diego 4th grader Something has went wrong. Something very deep & fundamental, states Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods. Children in America have largely lost nature and wilderness. Their knowledge of it, their connection to it, their love of it. Louv passionately pleads that immersion in God's creation is not just a "nice thing" for our children, but something vital for their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual development. He goes so far as to give society's current state a name-- "nature-deficit disorder." So, is this just one more idea, one more book, or is this something real? I agree with Louv. I think both Scripture and experience tell us that God constructed both our bodies and our souls to exist in the rich, beautiful world that he created. God intended for us to be blessed, as Louv would put it, "biologically, cognitively, and spiritually--through positive physical connection to nature." That "time in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our children's health." This is not some flower-child nature worship-- it's just an honest realization of how God made us. We were not made to be holed up in caves of wood and concrete and steel; we were made to live in God's creation. Louv says "in our bones we need the natural curves of hills, the scent of chaparral, the whisper of pines, the possibility of wildness." His conclusion? Alienation from God's creation, just as alienation from the God Who made it, has deleterious effects on our body and soul. As Louv quotes Luther Standing Bear, "Man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard." His solution? A realization of the importance of living in nature, and then a restoration of that life, both on a personal level, a community level, and a societal level, both in practical steps for today and visionary plans for the future. I loved this book. I loved the careful thought that went into it. I loved all the peppery quotes, like "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing" (author Norman Maclean referring about his father, a Presbyterian pastor) and "God communicates to us (nowhere) with such texture and forcefulness in detail and grace and joy, as through creation...this is what connects humanity, this is what we have in common. It's not the internet, it's the oceans." (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.). I loved what this book did to my soul, turning it to God's creation and its importance for both my children and me. I loved how it encouraged me to more actively involve my kids in contact with and appreciation of God's creation. So what about the spiritual content? Louv writes very broadly and generically about spirituality, interviewing many people from many religious views. The whole area of our relationship with God's creation has long been primarily, if not exclusively, the domain of "liberals" and people far from a conservative Christian viewpoint. It is sad that in the book he could find no voice from a reformed theological tradition that could have forcefully and articulately praised his ideas while grounding them solidly in a Biblical worldview. I see some seeds of change within evangelical Christianity regarding a right view and right embracing of God's gift of His creation. Hopefully readers of this book can plant some of those seeds in their own lives and in the lives of others in their spheres of influence.more
Tedious and obvious. The basic premise is that unstructured outdoor play is healthy for children. I'm okay with that, but do we really need a whole chapter on the beneficial effects of building treehouses?The author also overgeneralizes from his own life story. (Since he grew up in the country and moved to the city, he concludes that everyone of his generation grew up in the country and now lives in the city.) As a result, he telescopes several generations of urbanization into two or three decades.more
It's a great book - lives up to its promise. Two things though -- 1. though Louv makes a convincing case that nature is good for us psychologically, he doesn't say why that is. I don't think anyone knows. 2. though I can't help but love Louv's optimism, I found that as I read the last few chapters describing his vision for injecting more contact with nature in our lives, his idyllic description of our return to garden cities leaves out one essential point -- the 7.5 billion people who inhabit the rest of the globe as the state of degradation of nature, energy and food shortages, global warming, etc. spiral into catastrophe have to be relied on to back off and leave those of us in North America alone to bask in a new, happy, bucolic, dreamy state of bliss. I don't think they'll be so generous.more
*Inspired and Important*Richard Louv makes important points about what we may cost ourselves, our children, and our future by becoming more urban and less connected to the natural world. Within living memory, even urban children often had access to an overgrown vacant lot which would be suitable for playing and exploring, whereas nowadays they're likely to be fenced in or inhabited by gangs and addicts (or both).An important book for parents in particular.more
Read all 14 reviews

Reviews

Although there were probably flaws in this book and in some of the author's arguments and suggestions, I gave it five stars because I think it's an important topic that was reasonably well addressed. Even as a fairly sedentary child who loved to read above all things, I spent plenty of time outdoors, climbing trees in the swamp behind our house, imagining on the rocky beach of Long Island Sound, throwing sticks for my grandfather's dog to catch.... My own children had more freedom than many in their generation, though probably not as much as I, and we did take them camping a lot. They have often remarked about kids they've babysat or nannied for that they do not (and often aren't allowed to) spend much time outdoors even when there is ample opportunity. I think this is an important book for parents, grandparents, and school administrators, among others. I would disagree with the author's idea that giving your kids a cell phone to take into the woods (or other natural area) is a necessary precaution. But if that's what it takes to get them outside, I guess it's OK.more
Enlightening, encouraging, depressing....so much great information and an interesting read. I have a bias that leans toward the outdoors already, so maybe this wouldn't strike the same chord with everyone, but I was regularly spouting information from this book to anyone who would (or wouldn't listen). Kids need nature - already knew that, this just reinforces my dedication to that idea. It's also a great book to keep around as a reference with a bunch of web sites and ideas for nature activities at the end of the book.Regardless of where you live, be it city, suburbia or somewhere more wild, there's nature there for the enjoying and this book explains why it's so very important for children (and adults) to make the most of it.more
This book was a bit of a chore. Mr. Louv spent a great deal of time driving his point home, which was probably helpful for the skeptics that were reading it. I'm not a skeptic, so I found myself thinking, "Okay, I get it, move on please!" This was good information, but it was a little too preachy for me. It did make me get my kids outside more, though, and since that's the whole idea of the book (in a nutshell) then it is at the very least effective.more
I'm reading this book now for a book group, and honestly, if I had a reason to quit reading it I would. It's a really boring collection of studies, really. I'm 200 pages in and so far I've gone paragraph to paragraph with statements like "in a 2007 study so and so Ph.D. found that blah blah blah" and "in 2003 a study found that blah blah blah". I would rather NOT read a compilation of studies. I much prefer a clear narrative.Boring.more
Way too preachy with little empirical evidence behind any point made. Science journal readers beware.more
Important book that shows, among other things, the relationship between the natural world and what students gain from spending time in the outdoors.If you think students do not need time in the natural world, you really need to read this book.For me, growing up in Oregon (surrounded by mountains on three sides and a river on the fourth side) has provided a "nature filter" that influences me in many ways as described in Louv's book.I will strongly suggest this book to all parents, especially those parents who are connected to the Fulmore GT program. LAST CHILD in the WOODS is one of the main justifications for the nature emphasis in the GT program.While talking to Mrs. Rushing (6th grade science teacher) we were discussing the overall (within AISD and the nation) low scores in science. Perhaps the fact that children spend fewer and fewer hours outside might have something to do with the scores. If students are not outside observing the natural world, questioning the natural world, experimenting in the natural world, exploring the natural world, or experiencing the natural world, then how are they going to develop a scientific frame of mind.more
A must use book for any environmental science course. It discusses the need to explore and examine nature, as this experience helps one to learn more about science, manipulative tools, and appreciate nature.more
Parts of this flow and engage really well, other parts less so. A valuable read.more
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19:1 NIV) "In my first counseling job, I took children with AIDS to the mountains who had never been out of their urban neighborhoods. One night, a nine year-old woke me up. She had to go to the bathroom. We stepped outside the tent and she looked up. She gasped and grabbed my leg. She had never seen the stars before." --Madhu Narayan "I like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are." --San Diego 4th grader Something has went wrong. Something very deep & fundamental, states Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods. Children in America have largely lost nature and wilderness. Their knowledge of it, their connection to it, their love of it. Louv passionately pleads that immersion in God's creation is not just a "nice thing" for our children, but something vital for their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual development. He goes so far as to give society's current state a name-- "nature-deficit disorder." So, is this just one more idea, one more book, or is this something real? I agree with Louv. I think both Scripture and experience tell us that God constructed both our bodies and our souls to exist in the rich, beautiful world that he created. God intended for us to be blessed, as Louv would put it, "biologically, cognitively, and spiritually--through positive physical connection to nature." That "time in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our children's health." This is not some flower-child nature worship-- it's just an honest realization of how God made us. We were not made to be holed up in caves of wood and concrete and steel; we were made to live in God's creation. Louv says "in our bones we need the natural curves of hills, the scent of chaparral, the whisper of pines, the possibility of wildness." His conclusion? Alienation from God's creation, just as alienation from the God Who made it, has deleterious effects on our body and soul. As Louv quotes Luther Standing Bear, "Man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard." His solution? A realization of the importance of living in nature, and then a restoration of that life, both on a personal level, a community level, and a societal level, both in practical steps for today and visionary plans for the future. I loved this book. I loved the careful thought that went into it. I loved all the peppery quotes, like "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing" (author Norman Maclean referring about his father, a Presbyterian pastor) and "God communicates to us (nowhere) with such texture and forcefulness in detail and grace and joy, as through creation...this is what connects humanity, this is what we have in common. It's not the internet, it's the oceans." (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.). I loved what this book did to my soul, turning it to God's creation and its importance for both my children and me. I loved how it encouraged me to more actively involve my kids in contact with and appreciation of God's creation. So what about the spiritual content? Louv writes very broadly and generically about spirituality, interviewing many people from many religious views. The whole area of our relationship with God's creation has long been primarily, if not exclusively, the domain of "liberals" and people far from a conservative Christian viewpoint. It is sad that in the book he could find no voice from a reformed theological tradition that could have forcefully and articulately praised his ideas while grounding them solidly in a Biblical worldview. I see some seeds of change within evangelical Christianity regarding a right view and right embracing of God's gift of His creation. Hopefully readers of this book can plant some of those seeds in their own lives and in the lives of others in their spheres of influence.more
Tedious and obvious. The basic premise is that unstructured outdoor play is healthy for children. I'm okay with that, but do we really need a whole chapter on the beneficial effects of building treehouses?The author also overgeneralizes from his own life story. (Since he grew up in the country and moved to the city, he concludes that everyone of his generation grew up in the country and now lives in the city.) As a result, he telescopes several generations of urbanization into two or three decades.more
It's a great book - lives up to its promise. Two things though -- 1. though Louv makes a convincing case that nature is good for us psychologically, he doesn't say why that is. I don't think anyone knows. 2. though I can't help but love Louv's optimism, I found that as I read the last few chapters describing his vision for injecting more contact with nature in our lives, his idyllic description of our return to garden cities leaves out one essential point -- the 7.5 billion people who inhabit the rest of the globe as the state of degradation of nature, energy and food shortages, global warming, etc. spiral into catastrophe have to be relied on to back off and leave those of us in North America alone to bask in a new, happy, bucolic, dreamy state of bliss. I don't think they'll be so generous.more
*Inspired and Important*Richard Louv makes important points about what we may cost ourselves, our children, and our future by becoming more urban and less connected to the natural world. Within living memory, even urban children often had access to an overgrown vacant lot which would be suitable for playing and exploring, whereas nowadays they're likely to be fenced in or inhabited by gangs and addicts (or both).An important book for parents in particular.more
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