In the September issue of Language Arts, published by National Council of Teachers of English, I find a disappointing set of numbers. I quote: “In a survey of over 800 mothers in the US in the early 2000s, 71% of interviewed mothers recalled that as children they had played outdoors every day. Comparatively, only 26% of these mothers reported that their children played outdoors every day.”
Folks, this isn’t right. Why, in fourteen years, have children’s habits changed so dramatically? It’s always tempting to blame technology, the lure of staring at screens and thumbing off notes to pals and yelling through the latest computer game. What do you think? What else might be causing American children to eschew the pleasures of the outdoors to stay inside? More importantly, what are we going to do about it?