The Importance of Outside Time with Children

The Importance of Outside Time with Children

Clinton Land Conservation Trust – P.O. Box 121 Clinton, CT 06413

Information compiled by Dana Skidmore

Best Beginnings in conjunction with the Clinton Land Conservation Trust (CLCT) encourages families to “get out and hike”. Doctors, psychologists and child advocates agree: Getting your kids back in touch with the great outdoors can improve their health and well-being.

Where do we begin?

Start at the website :

  • Here, you can locate trail information & maps close to your home in Clinton. (get out and hike!)
  • Find out about special events that encourage families to spend time outdoors; whether helping to maintain a trail, or to attend an educational event. 

We are lucky to live in an area with ample habitats to explore. Whether it is a beach with tide pools, a salt marsh, a vernal pool, a wooded forest, or a pond that you prefer, these sites are available all year long for exploration and discovery. Your children will thank you for exposing them to nature!

  • Hint: “Fieldtrips and nature excursions are never ruined by weather, only by poor preparation.” Please dress appropriately, (wear socks over long pants at the ankle) and be aware of ticks.

Excerpts taken from Richard Louv’s book:

Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder

“Kids who play in natural areas – those with bushes and trees – have been shown to engage in more creative and cooperative play” – Richard Louv

“The Outside Advantage”

  • Nature can be a stress reducer
  • Nature can make kids more focused
  • Nature can enhance a child’s emotional and social development

Quotes from Dr. Tedd Mitchell, MD:

“It’s a shame. It used to be “go outside and play until dinnertime.” Now, it’s, “Go grab a snack and play video games until dinnertime.” – Dr, Tedd Mitchell

“If you can’t get to a pond or lake, then find a puddle”
– Dr. Tedd Mitchell

Exploring nature doesn’t have to be overwhelming! You could start by discovering what is alive in your own backyard. Use all your senses to experience nature first hand. Also, after a day outside, visit the library to enhance the experience by researching what you might have found.

Some Children’s books:

The Grand Old Tree by: Mary Newell De Palma

The Giving Tree By: Shel Silverstein

Lois Ehlert books

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