There are those who hypothesize that kids don't get outdoors these days because they are too busy inside playing video games.
I had the chance to test that hypothesis this weekend. Give the kids a Wii, and equal access to an outdoor area, complete with a pond for skating, and access to cross country skis. Set an example, and see what they choose.
Yes, this is Calvin. I only had to mention that I was going to try out my cross country skis, and he was right there. We had a good ski around the former horse pasture. When we came back, Starflower and Mr. Attitude were waiting for us at the pond.
Later, I was doing dishes in the cook shed, and I heard the kids heading out to the pond. As soon as I was finished washing dishes, I grabbed my skates and headed out there. I spent a glorious hour there, complete with snowball fights and everything. I even did a single toe loop-single toe loop combo, although I fell a few times trying it.
The paradox is, the kids had no reason to go outside, what with a new Wii and everything. But they did. Calvin chose twice, to go skiing and later to go skating.
So I really don't believe those who say that kids don't get outdoors these days simply because they choose to play video games instead. My children had the choice, and they chose the outdoors. I think every child who has access to a frozen pond, or stream, or woods, will go there if they can. I mean, there is so much more to discover outdoors, with real land to explore! My children are lucky. But I think about the neighborhood I grew up in, and how there were no wetlands, no streams, no wild forests to explore. So how are children supposed to connect to the land when they have no land to connect with?