Outdoor Children's Camps Indianapolis IN

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Abrakadoodle Art Classes
(317) 580-5900
Indianapolis, IN
Hours
Check the website for locations and class times.
Ages
12-Feb
Services Available
Camps, Classes

YMCA at the Athenaeum
(317) 685-9705
401 E. Michigan St.
Indianapolis, IN
Hours
Mon-Thu 5am-10pm; Fri 5am-9pm; Sat 7am-7pm; Sun 12n-6pm
Cost
$9-$69/month
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, Classes

Fairview Presbyterian Church
(317) 251-2245
4609 N. Capitol Avenue
Indianapolis, IN
Cost
Varies.
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Classes

Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis
(317) 926-4222
Wheeler-Dowe Boys & Girls Club,2310 E. 30th Street
Indianapolis, IN
Hours
School year: Mon-Fri 3pm-9pm; Summer: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm
Cost
Free (only students at Emma Donnan Middle School, IPS #72, can attend)
Ages
15-May
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, Classes, Kids Resources

Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis
(317) 370-8301
George Buck Boys & Girls Club,2701 Devon Avenue
Indianapolis, IN
Hours
School year: Mon-Fri 3:30pm-6:30pm
Cost
Free (only students at Emma Donnan Middle School, IPS #72, can attend)
Ages
15-May
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, Classes, Kids Resources

Indiana Repertory Theatre
(317) 635-5252
140 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN
Hours
Box Office: Daily, 10am-one half hour after curtain
Cost
Vary; see website for details
Ages
8And Up
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Entertainment

Indianapolis Children's Choir
(317) 940-9640
4600 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN
Ages
4And Up
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Entertainment

Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens
(317) 630-2001
1200 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN
Hours
Vary by season; see website for details
Cost
Nov-Feb: Adults $8.50; Children (2-12) $6.50, (under 2) free; Mar-Oct: Adults $14; Children (2-12) $9, (under 2) free
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Tourist Spots

Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis
(317) 797-5551
Longfellow Boys & Girls Club,510 S. Laurel Street
Indianapolis, IN
Hours
School year: Mon-Fri 2:30pm-5pm
Cost
Free (only students at Emma Donnan Middle School, IPS #72, can attend)
Ages
15-May
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, Classes, Kids Resources

Ransburg YMCA
(317) 357-8441
501 N. Shortridge Rd.
Indianapolis, IN
Hours
Mon-Thu 5am-11pm; Fri 5am-10pm; Sat 7am-7pm; Sun 11am-6pm
Cost
$9-$69/month
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, 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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