Outdoor Children's Camps Garner NC

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Camp Kanata
(919) 556-2661
Wake Forest, NC
 
Historic Yates Mill County Park
(919) 856-6675
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC
Hours
8am-sunset; closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year''s Day
Cost
Free
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Indoors, Tourist Spots

North Carolina Museum of History
(919) 807-7900
5 East Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC
Hours
Tue-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 12n-5pm
Cost
Free
Ages
3And Up
Services Available
Camps, Indoors, Parents Resources, Schools, Tourist Spots

Artspace
(919) 821-2787
201 East Davie Street
Raleigh, NC
Hours
Tue-Sat 10am-6pm (Studio hours may vary); First Fridays 10am-10pm
Cost
Varies with program
Ages
8And Up
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Entertainment, Indoors

Marbles Kids Museum
(919) 834-4040
201 East Hargett Street
Raleigh, NC
Hours
Tue-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 12n-5pm; Mon closed
Cost
$5; Children (1 and under) free; IMAX tickets extra; Special combo tickets are available
Ages
0-10
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Entertainment, Indoors, Parents Resources, Schools, Tourist Spots

Camp Flintlock: Colonial American Summer Camp
(919) 938-1776
Four Oaks, NC
 
Barwell Road Community Center
(919) 329-5994
3935 Barwell Road
Raleigh, NC
Hours
Mon-Fri 7am-10pm; Sat 9am-3pm; Sun 1pm-6pm
Cost
Inexpensive to moderate
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Indoors, Parents Resources, Schools

Pump It Up
(919) 828-3344
10700 World Trade Boulevard,Suite 112
Raleigh, NC
Hours
See website for Pop-In Playtimes, class schedules, special events, and party hours
Cost
Prices vary by location for Pop-In Playtimes, classes, and parties; contact location for details
Ages
10-Feb
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Indoors, Kids Resources

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
(919) 733-7450
11 W. Jones Street,Bicentennial Plaza
Raleigh, NC
Hours
Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 12n-5pm
Cost
Free
Ages
3And Up
Services Available
Camps, Indoors, Tourist Spots

Abrakadoodle
(336) 270-6307
Raleigh, NC
Hours
Check the website for a class schedule.
Cost
$$
Ages
12-Feb
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Indoors

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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