As a magazine whose motto is go outside and play, it should come as no surprise that we are huge fans of a recently launched initiative that gets every fourth-grader in a national park.
The program, which Obama put into effect today, provides free admission into national parks (as well as other federal lands and waters) for fourth-graders and their families for an entire year. The campaign also helps to kick off the new designation of three national monuments in Illinois, Colorado, and Hawaii.
There have been multiple studies done that prove the positive effects nature can have on a child’s development, especially in the early years when traits like problem-solving and conflict management are just beginning to take shape. If you haven’t read our travel editor’s recent article on why we all, kids and adults alike, should spend more time outside, check it out here.
It’s an important topic, especially given how much time we all spend with screens in front of our faces. From eyesight degradation to “text neck” to the fact that kids these days just aren’t bored enough, a government-supported plan to get more youth outside sounds like a long-overdue campaign, but one we’d rather have late than never.
And then, do yourself (and your kids) a favor — go outside and play.