By Jackie Karlberg
If you’re looking for a way to better expose your children (and yourself) to nature, look no further than the Tallahassee Museum for a year full of fun experiences for all ages. For over 58 years, the Tallahassee Museum has been engaging and inspiring children to develop a sense of wonder, and a better understanding and appreciation for their natural and cultural world. Providing educational experiences and immersion activities has always been core to the museum’s mission. The settings for their efforts include school break and summer camps; daily museum visits and programs for families, school groups and home school audiences; and workshops and presentations to community, youth, teacher and parent groups.
With the increase of screen time for even the smallest children, it has become imperative that parents get outside and expose their children to nature. Parents used to be able to say to their kids, “Go play outside,” but with worries of safety, today it’s not always that easy. The demands of work, reduced leisure time, and in some cases, not knowing where to begin — are all factors of not being able to adequately help our children be engaged in the outside world.
The cumulative and harmful impact of this trend is becoming abundantly apparent in the growing body of research that shows the lack of direct contact with nature is negatively affecting childhood development and the physical and emotional health of children as well as adults. Issues of obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), self-esteem and many other troubling problems have been linked to the lack of quality time in nature. The term “nature-deficit disorder” has been coined to describe these problems.
However, the Tallahassee Museum is a great resource here in Tallahassee to help slow these trends. Museum enthusiast and member Melissa Nelms said, “We love the museum because it’s a safe outdoor space, and we have enjoyed it for the several years we’ve been in Tallahassee. It’s a place that grows with you. We’ve been going for three years and my children are still excited every single time.”The Tallahassee Museum continues to enhance its efforts, programs and partnerships to get more families to participate in fun and engaging nature-based activities — museum sleepovers, nature-based field trips, programs on healthy lifestyles and the challenging obstacles and zip lines of the museum’s Tallahassee Tree to Tree Adventures.
“I think it is imperative for the future of our children and our communities for us all to embrace and promote the importance of getting both children and adults
regularly into nature for their physical, emotional and developmental health,” said Russell Daws, president and CEO of Tallahassee Museum.
If you’re looking for a way to better expose your children (and yourself ) to nature, look no further than the Tallahassee Museum for a year full of fun experiences
for all ages.