Are you looking for a book to put on your nightstand? We have a recommendation. If you want to understand the power of what you do for the lives of our participants, read Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. It affirms what Manito-wish is all about.
Many here in the office have read it and have found it inspirational and informative. It describes how younger generations are now spending more time indoors playing with electronics and how that is perhaps detrimental to their development. Louv covers other trends like the media's coverage of the 'frightening' outdoors and parental fear are covered. He also highlights and quantifies the benefits of environmental education. The book addresses how to pull kids outdoors and help them reform a connection to their natural surroundings. It is a good read.
Pick it up if you have the spare time. Or, if you have a paper to write in the coming days/weeks, consider the topic of Nature-Deficit Disorder and use Last Child in the Woods as your reference/source material.
Play and the Manito-wish approach have also been covered in a few recent stories. If you don’t want to read the book, you can explore these links.
“Taking Play Seriously” from the NY Times Magazine
“Old Fashion Play Builds Serious Skills” from National Public Radio (note you can listen to this story and also note the links at the bottom of the page under the Related NPR Stories section – “Creative Play Makes for Kids in Control” is the second part of the above story)