Nature Deficit Disorder, the Cure is Here.

Coined by Richard Louv in the 2005 book "Last Child in the Woods", nature deficit disorder is a description of a trend occurring in young people as well as adults.  Simply put, as people become more urbanized a disconnect begins to develop between individuals and nature.  Children no longer spend as much time outside exploring nature but rather spend more and more time indoors.  Playing video games, watching TV, or on the computer.  According to Louv, the result of this disconnect is a variety of behavioral problems and a limited respect for their natural surroundings.

Based on these observations the question arises, what can a parent do to counter act this trend?  How can parents expose their children to nature when so many other demands on time exist? 

While cleaning after a recent 4 generation family reunion held at the Painted Pony Resort the item shown below turned up.  It was found in one of the courtyard planters.   A clear plastic box with a removable top and air vents along with a magnifying viewing port.  All hanging from a string just the right length to hang around a little ones neck.  It’s an insect collecting box.  An interesting find and its presence is very telling.  The insect collecting box is not something that would attract the eye of a child under the age of 10 in a store.  It is not particularly flashy, no electronics or flashing lights, just a simple plastic box for collecting and viewing insects.  This suggests that the purchase was not made by a little one but rather a little one’s older relative and this relative wanted to expose a child to nature, specifically entomology.  Clear evidence of a parent's awareness of nature deficit disorder and their attempt to combat it while enjoying the surroundings at the Painted Pony Resort.

A child's insect collection box


  1. Looks like you can do some insect collecting now.

  2. The big female tarantula who I filmed last year has dug open her burrow and emerged. I had been watching for her emergence but only the other day did I notice new webbing and fresh dirt around her burrow. She is to big to fit in the collecting box so I will just watch for another mating and babies.