Contact Us
Make My Homepage

NJ Lawmakers to Kids: Get Outside [AUDIO]

Is it another ridiculous government intrusion or a positive step in the right direction? New Jersey legislators appear set to pass a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights in the coming weeks.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Butterfly on a girl's nose
Oli Scarff, Getty Images

Morristown child psychologist Dr. Steven Tobias believes this is a good idea.

“Most activities for children are adult-driven, very structured, and very organized,” he said. “Kids really need time to go out to play, to explore, to discover. They need opportunities to interact with one another, letting them work out their own conflicts. Let them develop their own games, let them figure things out for themselves.”

Dr. Tobias said parents are always structuring things for their children, and that may be a bad thing.

“We’re really depriving kids of opportunities to learn for themselves, and kids who can learn on their own are going to do better cognitively, and many studies show they’re going to do better on testing as well,” Tobias said.

He said one of the best ways to teach kids problem solving is through unstructured free play.

“Going out in nature is a great idea,” Tobias said. “It’s a natural part of childhood, and kids need to just to relax and hang out — and that’s not in front of a computer of TV screen.”

The bill, which is now in resolution form, states every child has the right and opportunities to:

  • explore the woods
  • climb a tree
  • run through a field
  • build a fort
  • splash in the water
  • catch a fish
  • explore a city park
  • turn over a log
  • sleep out in a tent
  • gaze at stars
  • follow a trail
  • listen to birds
  • play in the mud
  • hold a frog
  • plant a garden
  • eat locally-grown food
  • play in the rain
  • follow animal tracks, and
  • celebrate New Jersey’s habitats.

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.