Outdoor Children's Camps Hockessin DE

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Camp Montessori
(302) 475-0555
Wilmington, DE
 
Hagley Museum and Library
(302) 658-2400
200 Hagley Road
Wilmington, DE
Hours
Hours vary seasonally; see website for details
Cost
Adults $11; Students & Seniors $9; Children (5 and under) free
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Indoors, Tourist Spots

Delaware Children's Theatre
(302) 655-1014
1014 Delaware Avenue
Wilmington, DE
Hours
Vary
Cost
Shows $10; classes & workshops vary; does not take credit cards
Ages
4And Up
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Entertainment

Delaware Theatre Company
(302) 594-1100
200 Water Street
Wilmington, DE
Hours
Box office: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm; show times vary
Cost
Performances: Adults $31-$49; Students (under 25) $15
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Entertainment

Brandywine Zoo
(302) 571-7747
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE
Hours
Daily, 10am-4pm
Cost
Members free; Non-members Jun-Sep, Adults $5; Seniors $4; Youth (3-11) $3, (under 3) free; Oct-May, Adults $4; Seniors $2; Youth (3-11) $2, (under 3) free
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Indoors, Tourist Spots

Sandy Hill Camp
(410) 287-5554
North East, MD
 
Delaware Art Museum
(302) 571-9590
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE
Hours
Wed-Sat 10am-4pm; Sun 12n-4pm; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year''s Days
Cost
Adults $12; Seniors $10; Students (with ID) $6; Children (7-18) $6, (6 and under) free; Military Families (with ID) $3-$6
Ages
3And Up
Services Available
Camps, Indoors, Tourist Spots

Delaware Children's Museum
(302) 654-2340
550 Justison Street
Wilmington, DE
Hours
Daily, 9am-4:30pm
Cost
Adults $12; Children (1 and up) $12, (11 months and under) free
Ages
10-Jan
Services Available
Camps, Indoors, Tourist Spots

Delaware Museum of Natural History
(302) 658-9111
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE
Hours
Mon-Sat 9:30am-4:30pm; Sun 12n-4:30pm
Cost
Adults $7; Seniors (60 and up) $6; Children (3-17) $5, (2 and under) free
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Classes

Music and Art ABC's
(610) 696-1812
116 West Gay Street,Taylor's Music Store
West Chester, PA
Hours
Vary
Cost
Moderate
Ages
0-15
Services Available
Camps, Classes

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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