Hong Kong scientist develops tool to measure kids’ connectedness to nature

© Play and Grow It reveals what we already know but needs repeating – that more time in nature equals greater happiness in kids. Cities can be a wonderful place in which to raise kids, but when it comes to connecting kids to nature, they pose challenges. Even when a city has plenty of parks and green space, these can be difficult for families to access, with signs saying "Keep off the grass," or parents assuming that the area is dirty or dangerous and therefore not safe for a child to play freely. This has lasting consequences for children, who can develop ‘nature-deficit disorder’ or ‘child-nature disconnectedness’ if a child-nature relationship is not fostered from a young age. Mental and physical health deteriorates with lack of access to the natural world. In an effort to measure how children in Hong Kong, one of the densest urban settings in the world, are faring in relation to nature – and to develop a tool to be able to measure this consistently – Dr. Tanja Sobko of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Hong Kong and Prof. Gavin Brown of the University of Auckland created a 16-part questionnaire for […]

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