The Green Hour: A Daily Dose of Nature for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids

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Overview

The National Wildlife Federation, on its website GreenHour.org, recommends that parents give their kids a “Green Hour” every day—a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. Whether in the backyard, the local park, or a green space farther afield, time spent outdoors is essential to the healthy development of young minds, bodies, and spirits.

Todd Christopher, the creator of the GreenHour.org, has filled this book with activities designed to encourage ...

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Overview

The National Wildlife Federation, on its website GreenHour.org, recommends that parents give their kids a “Green Hour” every day—a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. Whether in the backyard, the local park, or a green space farther afield, time spent outdoors is essential to the healthy development of young minds, bodies, and spirits.

Todd Christopher, the creator of the GreenHour.org, has filled this book with activities designed to encourage discovery, creative play, and a wonder of nature. Here you'll find a range of projects, fun facts, and science lessons meant to engage and invigorate your child, as well as the practical advice for parents that makes getting outdoors easy and worry-free. With creative, science-based ideas for a variety of natural settings, getting your family's daily dose of nature just got easier.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Research has long proven the benefit of outdoor play, yet many continue to replace ‘green time with screen time.’ There have been several excellent activity guides this year (e.g., Jennifer Ward's Let’s Go Outside!), and this joins the ranks. Enthusiastically recommended.”—Library Journal (starred review)

The Green Hour is excellent—inspiring, informative, practical.”—Cheryl Charles, president and CEO, Children & Nature Network

“One age-level leap above the beloved little I Love Dirt! The activities are simple, but the information goes deep enough for curious school-age minds.  I love the way it offers both projects and clear information (why is there wind?) to help non-expert eyes see the natural world on a more intricate level.  Wherever you are—your yard, in the woods, at the beach—this book has absorbing activities for all ages.”—KidoInfo.com

"With great élan and creativity, Christopher shares a broad crosscut of activities and ideas to make the most of explorations in your own backyard.”—Spirituality & Practice

“Todd Christopher makes the case for outdoor exploration in the best possible way: by showing how it can be fun.”—Dan Shapley, The Daily Green

The Green Hour will help you find letterboxes, identify butterflies, get grass stains on your knees, and laugh more with your children.”—David T. Sobel, author of Beyond Ecophobia

“Grounded in a solid understanding of how children learn through observation, play, and exploration, the activities suggested in this book offer a fun and practical road map for parents and children to deepen their knowledge and love of nature together.”—Martha Farrel Erickson, founding board member, Children & Nature Network

“You don't have to be Ranger Rick to help your family connect with nature. All you need is one hour a day and this book.”—Mary Dalheim, Ranger Rick magazine

“Whether you are a curious naturalist, an educator or a mentor or parent, this book is a basic primer for opening the nature connection doorway with simplicity and enthusiasm.”—Out There Monthly

“Engaging.  Parents wanting to encourage a love of nature in their children won’t go wrong with this book as its easy-to-do projects will have everyone racing for the door.”— Montreal Families

“Written to inform and encourage, not to overwhelm or to preach. This book has it all.”—Kids in the Valley, Adventuring

“Todd Christopher gets families out and having fun in this engagingly written guide full of games, crafts, experiments, and safety tips. Christopher knows how to pique and develop a kid’s interest in the natural world.”—Washington Parent

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590307564
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/16/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 626,292
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Todd Christopher is the director of online media for the National Wildlife Federation’s Green Hour website and their award-winning publications, including Ranger Rick, Your Big Backyard, and Wild Animal Baby. He and his family make a Green Hour part of their daily routine, and you often can find him on backyard adventures and hiking trails with his young son and daughter. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Discover Together 9

Safety First 19

Your Own Backyard

1 Making the Connection 35

2 Going on a Bug Safari 41

3 Looking Out for Birds 51

4 Discovering Details in the Dirt 61

5 Getting to Know Trees 71

6 Attracting Butterflies 79

On the Trail

7 Going for a Hike 87

8 Picking Up on Tracks and Clues 95

9 Turning Over New Leaves 103

Over in the Meadow

10 Seeking Out Seeds 115

11 Going Wild for Flowers 123

12 Chasing Summer Bugs 131

13 Raising Monarchs 137

It's A Shore Thing

14 Exploring Ponds and Streams 145

15 Having Fun with Frogs and Toads 153

16 Heading to the Sea 161

Whatever the Weather

17 Blowing in the Wind 171

18 Making the Most of Gray Skies 177

19 Playing in the Snow 183

Eyes on the Skies

20 Investigating the Sun 191

21 Watching the Moon 197

22 Gazing at the Stars 205

Notes 217

Resources 221

About the Author 225

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 15, 2011

    A must for every parent's and teacher's library

    Every parent, grandparent and teacher should have The Green Hour: A Daily Dose of Nature for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids by Todd Christopher in his/her library. We all know that it is important for our children to spend time outdoors but many adults justify staying indoors with a wide range of excuses that range from safety to lack of time. The most common excuse is "I don't know what to do outside." You (and I) have no more excuses. We can't say we don't know what to do outside by ourselves and/or with our children and grandchildren. The Green Hour explains the importance of our connection to the natural world and offers many activities to foster that connection.
    While there have been several books published recently on this topic, I think that this one is destined to be a standard of parenting and education books. I highly recommend this book. I would like to suggest that it would be a wonderful gift for anyone who lives, works and plays with children.

    Eileen Dowds Minarik, Head of School, Sunset Hills Montessori School, Reston, VA

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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