Outdoor Children's Camps Bristol RI

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Stacey DeCastro Soccer School
660 Waterman St
East Providence, RI
 
Audubon Environmental Education Center
(401) 245-7500
1401 Hope Street
Bristol, RI
Hours
May-Sep Daily 9am-5pm; Oct-Apr Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 12n-5pm
Cost
Adults $6; Seniors $5; Children (4-12) $4, (under 4) free; ASRI members free
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Indoors

SoccerPlus Camps
800.KEEPER.1 (800.533.7371)
Bristol, RI
Cost
$625-$795
Ages
10And Up
Services Available
Camps

YMCA Camp Manitoo
(401) 245-2444
70 West Street,Bayside Family YMCA
Barrington, RI
Cost
$76 to $200 per week
Ages
15-Mar
Services Available
Camps

Kent County YMCA
(401) 828-0130
900 Centerville Road
Warwick, RI
Ages
Unknown
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, Classes, Entertainment, Indoors, Kids Resources, Leagues & Teams, Parents Resources, Schools

W. Alton Jones Camp
(401) 397-3304
West Greenwich, RI
 
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
(401) 253-2707
101 Ferry Road
Bristol, RI
Hours
Gardens: Daily 10am-5pm. Mansion and Gift Shop: mid-Apr through Columbus Day: Wed-Sun & most Monday holidays 10am-4pm.
Cost
Adults $10; Seniors/Students $8; Children (6-17) $6, Members and Children (under 6) free
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Indoors

ART by YOU at Weirdgirl Creations Pottery Studio
(401) 247-1397
33 Kent Street
Barrington, RI
Hours
Mon-Fri 1pm-5pm; Sat 11am-5pm; Sun 1pm-5pm
Ages
3And Up
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Indoors, Stores

Warwick Museum of Art
(401) 737-0010
3259 Post Road
Warwick, RI
Hours
Tue-Sat 12n-4pm and by appointment
Cost
Donations encouraged
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Entertainment, Indoors, Parents Resources, Tourist Spots

Festival Ballet Providence Satellite Studio
(401) 353-1129
667 Waterman Avenue
East Providence, RI
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Entertainment

Great Big World

Spending time immersed in nature helps produce happy, well-adjusted kids.

By Violet Snow

April 2010

I like to play indoors better ‘cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are—a fourth-grader in San Diego, quoted in Last Child in the Woods (Workman Publishing Company, 2005), in which journalist Richard Louv introduced the concept of “nature deficit disorder” in children.

Freewheeling outdoor play, from building stick shelters to cloudgazing, that was once common for children is much less available to today’s youth—and Louv says they’re missing something vital. He blames influences such as the loss of green space, an obsession with safety, educational pressures and the fascination of electronic media.

Numerous studies show that problems such as obesity, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) improve when kids are exposed to nature. Cornell University researchers found that children with ready access to nature handled stress more successfully (Environment and Behavior 5/03). Scientists at the University of Southern California found that children who had park space within 500 meters of home tended to be less overweight (Association of Research Libraries conference, 4/09).

One recent University of Illinois study, involving children with ADHD, may help explain why interaction with nature is so important for all youngsters. It is based on attention restoration theory. Most of the time we use directed attention, which lets us focus on tasks but also fatigues with use. Involuntary attention is spontaneous and does not require effort. Natural settings often contain elements that engage involuntary attention, which allows directed attention to rest and recover.

In this study, children with ADHD took guided walks for 20 minutes through three different settings: a park, a quiet downtown area and a residential neighborhood. The youngsters’ capacity for concentration was tested after every walk; they scored higher after walking in the park than after the other outings (Journal of Attention Disorders 8/08).

Nature’s regenerative effects can be observed in all children, but they often need encouragement. The second edition of Last Child in the Woods (2008) lists 100 suggestions for connecting kids and nature, such as buying a truckload of dirt to play in; going for a family walk when the moon is full; buying field guides to birds, trees and flowers; planting a butterfly garden; and studying animal tracking.

Andrea Taylor, PhD, one of the University of Illinois researchers, believes that these study results offer clear implications for public policy. “We have to make nature accessible,” she says. “It’s not enough to have a massive park six blocks away. There should be small pockets of natural area near the home.

Louv’s book sparked the creation of a Children and Nature Network ( www.childrenandnature.org ) to promote awareness and push for legislation. Such calls for action are starting to bear f...

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