Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why hike No. 9: Increased attention span

Any hike into the wilds will be filled with wonders for kids: boulders to scramble over, strange bugs crossing the trail, fascinating pine cones ripe for throwing, squirrels and birds darting in and out of the bush … it’s full of distractions.

Yet, regular hiking may just be what children need to increase their attention span.

University of Michigan psychologists determined in a 2008 study that walking outside improves one’s concentration, the ability to focus and attention spans.

“To consider the availability of nature as merely an amenity fails to recognize the vital importance of nature in effective cognitive functioning,” concludes the study, “The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting with Nature”.

Just another reason to take your tykes for a hike!

More great reasons to day hike with kids:
g No. 6: Establish lifelong activity
g No. 7: These places may not be there when our children are grown

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.