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Holly Ragland, Allie Geswein, Ashley Costa, and Halle Ferry

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Image by Lukasz Szmigiel

“Colors are the Smiles of Nature”

Leigh Hunt

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  • Children are spending less and less time outside and it is having detrimental effects on their concentration, health, and well being

  • All research points to that experiences in the natural world offer greater benefits for one's ability to  learn

  • The outdoors allows children to learn to build confidence in themselves, calm themselves, and focus

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Activities to help foster nature growth

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  • Making animal habitats or forts out of natural materials like sticks, leaves, mud, grass, etc

  • Creating a leaf book 

  • Seed art 

  • stick painting

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This video is about the detrimental effects of maintaining children in closed schools or domestic environments

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Saving our iGeneration Kids from Nature Deficit Disorder | Ricardo Sierra | TEDxOneonta
TEDx Talks

Saving our iGeneration Kids from Nature Deficit Disorder | Ricardo Sierra | TEDxOneonta

The lessons found in nature and wilderness skills reach children and teens in a powerful, almost visceral way that lays the foundation for growth in their leadership, creativity, intimacy, problem-solving, team building and more. These skills and experiences last a lifetime and help counteract the screen addiction and stress inducing 'curated social world' that is part of the struggle we have in raising healthy children. I believe grandparents are the key to establishing these gifts in our youngest generation. Ricardo founded the Hawk Circle Wilderness Education Summer Camp Program in 1989, then formed the nonprofit Earth Mentoring Institute in 1999, to give children and teens the benefits of a deep connection to nature. His work has included professional trainings and program development for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Delaware County, the Creating Rural Opportunities Partnership After School Program, the Chatt Hill Charter School, Madrone Audubon Society, Waldorf School of Baltimore, The Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue and many others. His wilderness skills training and youth mentoring experience has included The Tom Brown Jr Tracking and Wilderness Survival School, John Stokes Tracking Project, The California Conservation Corps, Backcountry Trails and American Red Cross. He also has spent extensive time in wilderness and natural areas across the country, where he put the skills he teaches to the test. He lives in Cherry Valley, NY. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at
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Gordon, Tanuka. “Outdoor Sound Hunt: Sense of Hearing Anchors Us.” Mindful Littles, 23 Dec. 2020,
Sadikman, Lisa. “A Heart-Filled Treasure Hunt.” Mindful Littles, 22 Apr. 2020, 
Sadikman, Lisa. “Grounding Nature Name Game.” Mindful Littles, 27 Mar. 2020,

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