Nature Brain: The Developing Brain and Nature Deficit Disorder
Time:9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Credit Available:0.5 CEUs; 5 SWCEUs; 5 CPDUs; Approval pending by the Illinois Early Intervention Training Program
This session takes place at Brookfield Zoo Today’s children are suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder, a social trend that describes the developmental cost of alienation from nature which includes diminished use of the sensory systems, higher rates of physical and emotional illness including obesity, depression, and decreased attention. The good news is that there is a growing body of research evidence that is demonstrating the ways in which nature is not only good for the developing child’s brain but vitally important. In this workshop we’ll examine the research with an emphasis on the practical ways in which we can harness the power of nature to facilitate all domains of a child’s development. We’ll explore some intriguing concepts such as why dirt is good for the body. Participants will have the opportunity to learn by doing as we break the indoor habit and get back to nature ourselves. Together we will design activities that can be used with young children that utilize nature and materials from the natural world. After the session, feel free to wander around Brookfield Zoo at no extra charge!