Why Children Need Vitamin “G” & Celebrating Earth Day

Go outside and play”, “get some fresh air”, common phrases heard in households across America for generations reflect our knowledge that being outside is good for us. But it wasn’t until fairly recently that studies have been done to show the benefits of connecting with nature and green spaces.

The first studies of their kind in the 1980s and 1990s showed that adults regularly exposed to green spaces (trees, grass, gardens) have lower obesity rates and better overall health and immunity. However; more recent studies have begun to focus on children and the benefits they receive from exposure to green spaces.

These studies have shown, Vitamin “G” a term coined by Frances Ming Kuo to capture nature’s role as a necessary component of a healthy lifestyle, is essential for proper childhood development.

Specifically, recent studies have shown that Vitamin “G”:

  • Supports Creativity & Problem Solving (Kellert 2005)
  • Improves Academic Performance (American Institutes for Research, 2005 )
  • Advanced Motor Skills, Coordination, Balance & Agility. (Grahn, et al. 1997, Fjortoft & Sageie 2000)
  • Reduces Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms (ADD) (Taylor et al. 2001)
  • Improves Awareness & Observational Skills. (Pyle 2000)
  • Improves Eyesight. (American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011)
  • Improves Self-Esteem. (Malone & Tranter 2003 )
  • Reduces stress. (Wells & Evans 2003)
  • Increases empathy. (Malone & Tranter 2003 )
  • Improves self-discipline. (Taylor, Kuo and Sullivan, 2001)
  • Instills a sense of peace and calmness. (Craine 2001)
  • Reduces Bullying When Green Spaces Are In Schools. (Malone & Tranter  2003 )

Earth Day Celebration at Easter Seals Preschool

Children have an innate interest and connection with nature, but as they grow up and grow attached to electronic devices this connection starts to fade.

Earth day is a great opportunity to reintroduce children and even adults to the nature surrounding them. This year’s Earth Day, we participated in a tree talk at Easter Seals preschool.

Ms. Garcia’s class of 3-year-olds has been conducting a six-week study about trees. This last week, leading up to Earth Day was the week they learned about “Who Takes Care Of Trees”. We had the honor of talking to the children about what Arborists do and the insects that we protect trees from. We even got to show off some of our tools and safety gear.It’s never too early to start talking to children about trees and the environment.

Although the 3-year-olds might not understand the complex structures of a tree they understand how important trees are and Ms. Garcia’s class even surprised us with their knowledge of the difference between deciduous and evergreens.If you would like to celebrate Earth Day this weekend check out the events below!


How You Can Celebrate Earth Day:

Earth day, established in 1970, was created to celebrate our environment and raise public awareness about pollution. Here’s how you can celebrate in the DC Metro Area.

Northern VA Earth Day Activities:

Benjamin Banneker Park Invasive Plant Removal  – Arlington, VA
Alexandria Earth Day Celebration – Alexandria, VA
Daniels Run Trail Cleanup – Fairfax, VA
Earth Day Celebration – Chantilly, VA

Maryland Earth Day Activities:

Brookside Nature Center Earth Day Celebration – Wheaton, MD
Croydon Creek Nature Center Campfire – Rockville, MD
Rockville Science Day – Montgomery College

DC Earth Day Activities:

March For Science  – National Mall
Earth Day At The National Zoo
Anacostia Watershed Cleanup

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