Last Child in the Woods

Posted on November 27, 2011


As far as our childhood is concerned, if we were lucky enough to run in the vast fields, play hide and seek in forests and lay on the grasslands to watch birds; have you ever thought how these outdoor activities contributed to your values, personality and decision-making mechanism?

Every time a tree cut down under the name of “economic development”, we can obtain more clear scientific results in relation with its negative influence on human society. On the other hand, how do children who are more vulnerable than adults and who are still in the process of shaping their personalities and psychologies, affected from this situation? Do we know that  uncontrolled modernity practices significantly decreasing the life quality of next generations whenever we destroy a forest, grassland and garden?

In this context, “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder” is rather encouraging book written by Richard Louv. Author, wrote this influencing and meaningful book through incorporating scientific research and children’s perceptions, ideas, feelings which he personally gathered through interviews and observations. Furthermore, author visited different communities, schools and eco-schools and included numerous data which are particularly focused on children’s opinions and their environmental education.

Book points out, how spending time outdoors have an impact on children’s psychological and physical health. Furthermore, it scientifically concludes that, lack of natural interaction causes depression, obesity and it also creates more vulnerable, isolated individuals with lack of creativity and imagination skills. As far as education is concerned, they are having problems in terms of contextualizing environmental entities due to lack of interaction with nature. Thus, it might be interpreted as, next generations will not be as capable enough in problem solving and decision-making process about environmental issues.

If you are interested in how urbanization, lack of natural interaction and spending time indoors cause serious problems on children, in relation with their life quality, health, personal development and environmental education and actually how we endanger our future, this book is a must-read!