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Local "Nature Play Days" encourages families to explore the outdoors

ELKHART, Ind.-The first official day of summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time to hop off the couch and enjoy the outdoors! One organization in Indiana is hosting “Nature Play Days” across the Hoosier state, including our area.

The Indiana Children Nature Network started “Nature Play Days”. The second annual week-long events started on June 10th and will end on June 18th.

The purpose is to encourage families to play outdoors and reap the physical, natural, and emotional benefits playing outside has and to reconnect children to outdoor exploration and fun. 

One volunteer, who’s hosting a few different play days in our area this week, says events like these are important since too much time is spent with electronics.

“The studies that we’d been finding are kids are spending an average of 7 hours on an electronic device each day but also have lots of scheduled activities like sports, it leaves little time for play,” said Dr. Carla Gull, a Nature Play Days Volunteer.

Kids spend more than 50 hours a week on electronic devices and spend more than 90% of their time indoors, which contributes to several issues like childhood obesity.

More than 160 events will take place over the course of the week.

Participants of Nature Play Day can share their experiences on social media by using the hashtag #ICANNaturePlayDays to win cool prizes like tent packages and visits to state parks.

Here are Nature Play Days in the Michiana area:


“Nature Play at Wellfield” June 13, 2017, 1-3 pm, Wellfield Botanic Gardens, 1011 N Main St, Elkhart

“Nature Play at Elkhart Environmental Center” June 14, 2017, 1-3 pm, Elkhart Environmental Center, 1717 E Lusher Ave, Elkhart

“Good Clean Dirty Fun” June 14, 2017, 6-8 pm, 50651 Laurel Road, South Bend

“Nature Play at Riverbend Park” June 16, 2017, 9:30-11:30 am, Riverbend Park, 511 E. Warren St, Middlebury

For more information on other events across the Hoosier state, click HERE. 

To learn more about the Indiana Children Nature Network, click HERE. 

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