Bronx Zoo Nature Club

Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

Get outside and explore!

The Bronx Zoo would like to invite you and your family to take a walk on the wild side! Thanks to funding from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, we will be posting monthly Nature Club activities to encourage you and your family to get outside and explore!

Why should we spend time in nature?

On average, NYC schools only allow for a 20-minute recess break outside and many are limited to an asphalt play space. Here are just a couple of reasons why it's important to spend time in nature:

  • Supports creativity and problem solving. Studies of children in schoolyards found that children engage in more creative forms of play in the green areas. They also played more cooperatively (Bell and Dyment, 2006).
  • Enhances cognitive abilities. Being exposed to natural settings increases children's ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities (Wells, 2000).
  • Improves academic performance. Studies in the US show that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of nature-based experiential education support significant gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math (American Institutes for Research, 2005).
  • Reduces Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) symptoms. Spending time in nature can significantly reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder in children as young as five years old (Kuo and Taylor, 2004).
  • Increases physical activity. Children who are exposed to diverse natural settings are more physically active, more aware of nutrition, more civil to one another and more creative (Belly and Dyment, 2006).
  • Improves eyesight. More time outside is related to reduced rates of nearsightedness in children and adolescents (American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011).
  • Improves self-discipline. Time spent outside enhances peace, self-control and self-discipline within inner city youth, and particularly in girls (Taylor, Kuo and Sullivan, 2001).
  • Reduces stress. Green plants and vistas reduce stress among highly stressed children (Wells and Evans, 2003).


BRONX ZOO NATURE CLUB

The Bronx Zoo Education Department is happy to join forces with Kids Unplugged and Tarrytown Family Nature Club to create the Bronx Zoo Nature Club!

Check back soon for November’s activities!

Questions?

Feel free to contact bznatureclub@wcs.org with any questions regarding the Bronx Zoo Nature Club!

RESOURCES

Kids Unplugged -
http://kidsunplugged.org/

Tarrytown Family Nature Club -
http://www.meetup.com/Tarrytown-Family-Nature-Club/