We all know the importance of getting our children out into nature but today’s busy family life makes it hard to find the time. Not just that, but sometimes parents themselves have lost touch with the outdoors. They long to get outside with their families but don’t know what to do or where to start.
At a gathering of the Children and Nature Network in 2009, Janet Ady of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service held aloft an outsized pharmacy bottle. It contained, reports Richard Louv in Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life, a prescription to be used “daily, outdoors in nature”. The following year, Louv raised the same bottle before the American Academy of Pediatrics and suggested doctors consider prescribing “vitamin N” – “N” for nature – as an antidote to ‘nature-deficit disorder’ (NDD).
Yesterday, in Barcelona at the launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy S7, Mark Zuckerberg told the audience that virtual reality is “going to change the way we live and work and communicate.” As a result, the BBC has jumped into hyperspace today. This morning the stern John Humphrys had a vertiginous experience with a headset at a Kasabian concert, and Technology Editor Matthew Wall wrote a wide-ranging overview “Can technology help us improve upon reality?” .
A couple of weeks ago I began my own lo-tech experiment with VR when I treated myself to a Google Cardboard kit. I’ll be writing about it soon, but meanwhile if you already have Cardboard or GearVR check out this video about WildEyes, a VR project for kids based in American National Parks.