Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Reason No. 25 to hike with kids: Raise more spiritual children

Kids who spend 5-10 hours a week outdoors tend to
be more spiritual than those who don't.
Ever feel like your kids are a little too materialistic – You know, overconcerned with shopping, the next toy, and gorging on food? Tell them to take a hike.

A new study indicates that children who play outdoors for 5-10 hours a week enjoy a deeper connection with nature and have a stronger sense of purpose and self-fulfillment than those who stay indoors. The findings appeared in Michigan State University’s Journal of the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture.

Many of the children who spent time outdoors reported a feeling of inner peacefulness. Some even said they believed a higher power had created the natural world around them. They also expressed a sense of belonging in the world.

This spiritual connection transcended to adulthood. Parents interviewed in the study said their affinity for nature began in childhood when they spent several hours a day outdoors.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.