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West Virginia Wildlife
Getting Kids Outdoors
Patrick McMurtry Introducing Children To Outdoors Better Than Any Video Game

July 10, 2013
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


One of the best things you can do for your children is teaching them the importance of getting out and experiencing life for themselves at an early age.

In West Virginia, we are blessed with some of the prettiest mountains, lakes, rivers and parks you will see anywhere in the country. You could say they are some of the best outdoor lures you can imagine, so get your kids outside and let their imaginations come to life.

Karen McClure of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources explained why getting kids outdoors is important.

"It's just fun to take kids out and just let them point out things that they notice about something," McClure said. "Take a picture of it and go on the Internet and find out more about it from a government or university website rather than Wikipedia, where anyone can write about it and it may or may not be true."

Most folks aren't lucky enough to take someone like McClure who can pick up a little critter and tell you some cool facts you never knew about the bug.

Once they see something interesting, they will want to walk a little farther to find something else to learn about or look at, and before they know it, they have had a nice workout.

"Children who spend time outdoors are in better physical shape, and it cuts down on a lot of behavioral problems, so it's really a win-win. It's easy to do, it doesn't cost much and it really helps the kids out a lot." McClure said.

Those are some of the obvious benefits and good reasons for getting kids off the couch, away from their X Box and into nature.

"A lot of people just assume kids today get a lot of time outside. It's really not true. Studies have shown that children get less and less time outside compared to 50 years ago and that children who spend more time outside do better academically in school and are healthier physically, emotionally and mentally." McClure said.

The results can last a lifetime. Most are happy they spent some time learning about the world around them, not the game in front of them.

LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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