This is Your Brain on Green

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Remember those commercials —This is your brain on drugs?

Now, imagine the opposite, your brain on green . . . on nature. It’s so good for you, it’s like taking smart pills!

How much green per day?

The National Wildlife Foundation recommends 60 minutes – or a “Green Hour.”

Pediatricians prescribe “Grow Outside” for better health – anything is better than nothing.

And, Deborah McNelis’ Brain Insights gives us parents ideas for what to do with her little brain cards on a small ring. The Naturally Developing Young Minds packet suggests 40 nature activities and costs only $9.99. Slip it into a pocket or purse and you’ll have it where ever you go! Each card contains a fun activity with a beautiful, color photograph and scientific brain research.

Here’s one activity from the packet which is designed for 3 – 5 year olds:

Give me a piece of black fabric, a dark towel, or black paper to take outside. Have me catch snowflakes, place seeds, or collect pine needles on it. Look at the items very closely to see if there are two exactly the same.”

On the back of this activity is the brain insight:

Brain connections for basic math skills are developed from the ages of 1 – 4. These skills begin development through comparison activities with real objects.

Get more Brain Insights from Deborah on her blog, Early Childhood Brain Insights, and other brain packets from her online store such as Love Your Baby, Fun While I’m One, and lots more. They’re great!

More Resources

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Children and Nature Network

Go Explore Nature (Blog)

The Grass Stain Guru (Blog)

Kids Discover Nature (Blog)

Play Outdoors

Handbook of Nature Study (Blog)



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  1. Thanks for sharing these resources. I am in the middle of reading The Last Child in the Woods! I love it and appreciate the links to additional resources. We are blessed to live in an area with lots of opportunities for my children to be outside each day., but it is nice to get fresh ideas. There are so many children who don’t have the chance to take advantage of all that nature offers them.

    Our son’s school requires parents to volunteer an hour a week and one of the dads actually is our school naturalist. He is a landscaper by profession and is always looking for ways to add to the natural areas outside and to bring nature inside to our students. He is very creative.