The Green Hour:
A Daily Dose of Nature for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids
by Todd Christopher
Available March 16, 2010
Published by Trumpeter Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications. Distributed by Random House.
Advance praise for The Green Hour:
"The Green Hour is excellent—inspiring, informative, practical. It is a terrific resource for parents and others who want to know why and how to reconnect children with nature in their daily lives—helping them to be happier, healthier, and smarter."
-Cheryl Charles, Ph.D.
President & CEO, Children and Nature Network
"You don’t have to be Ranger Rick to help your family connect with nature. All you need is one hour a day and Todd Christopher's new book, The Green Hour. Packed with inspiration, wildlife information, and easy, fun activities, this book will get your family outside and on the path toward physical, mental, and emotional well being."
Editorial Director, Children's Magazines, National Wildlife Federation
"In this gem of a book Todd Christopher brings the ‘Green Hour’ concept to life in delightful ways. Grounded in a solid understanding of how children learn through observation, play and exploration, the activities suggested in the book offer a fun and practical road map for parents and children to deepen their knowledge and love of nature together, strengthening their relationships with each other in the process. I can't wait to share this book and the activities in it with my own children and grandchildren!"
—Martha Farrell Erickson, Ph.D.
Founding Board Member, Children & Nature Network
"The Green Hour is a handy, all in one place, invitation to get your kids outside exploring the nearby natural world on a daily basis. Kids don't need the deep Grand Canyon or the vaulted Rockies, they need to go out in the neighborhood, everyday, checking out the cracks in the sidewalk, the rising moon, the Halloween ladybugs clustered on the windows. The Green Hour will help you find letterboxes, identify butterflies, get grass stains on your knees and laugh more with your children."
—David Sobel, author of Beyond Ecophobia
"The Green Hour will be a valuable resource for parents, teachers and caregivers who want to help their children enjoy the outdoors in an age when many kids watch 28 hours or more of TV every week. Adding just enough data to prove why this matters — the health of your child, and ultimately the health of the planet — the National Wildlife Federation and Todd Christopher make the case for outdoor exploration in the best possible way: By showing how it can be fun.... bagel bird feeder, anyone?"
—Dan Shapley, The Daily Green
About this book:
The National Wildlife Federation’s GreenHour.org is a website devoted to giving parents and caregivers the information, tools, and inspiration they need to get their kids—and themselves—outside. The NWF recommends that parents give their kids a "Green Hour" every day—a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world, which can take place in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street, or any place that provides safe and accessible green space where children can learn and play.
With the same goal of offering families fun ways to explore nature, the book is a field guide to outdoor adventure—offering activities, fun facts, science lessons, and practical advice for engaging children in outdoor nature play that presents teachable moments and open-ended exploration of the natural world. Here are a range of starting points for nature-themed outdoor activities and explorations, beginning in your own backyard and progressively moving farther afield, all of them adaptable for children of different ages, abilities, and learning styles.