Have you noticed how busy our lives have become and how disconnected we’re feeling with each other and nature. We often yearn for simpler times, perhaps remembering our own childhood, when we’d spend many afternoons outside connecting with nature and allowing our imaginations to entertain us for hours.
As a play therapist, I often recommend turning off the digital devices and encouraging free play for both kids and their parents. Recent studies are showing a correlation between the decrease in free playtime for children, and an increase in the rate of childhood anxiety and depression. Part of the reason given, is that children feel less in control of their own lives when they are so scheduled. They also are deprived of the opportunity to explore their own interests and solve their own problems. In my own therapy practice, children often share that they wish they had more time to just play. Summertime is the perfect time to encourage our kids to be curious and playful in nature.
I’ve invited my guest, Marcie Cuff, to join my conversation. Marcie is the author of “This Book Was a Tree…Ideas, Adventures and Inspiration for Rediscovering the Natural World”. It is filled with wonderful ideas and suggestions for families to connect with nature, while connecting with each other.
Marcie’s academic background is in studio art, evolutionary biology and ecology. She has lived as an organic lettuce farmer, a tropical rainforest field technician, an Alaskan tent-dwelling graduate student, a stuffed animal designer, and a Manhattan high school biology teacher. When her two girls were young, she started a blog called Mossy—highlighting simple hands-on family projects inspired by nature. Marcie helped establish and coordinate their grade school garden.
Marcie is concerned about our environment and feels that as we connect more with technology, we are losing our connection with nature.