Engaging in natural play
is seen as a luxury for kids in the care of Carrie Tingley Hospital, CYFD, PB&J Family Services and NAPER Early Intervention. NBC affiliate KOB Eyewitness News 4 reports youngsters in these foster care and hospital programs rarely get to enjoy time simply being kids. This is why the Kiwanis Club in Albuquerque, New Mexico, holds a fishing derby each year to give these children time to play and enjoy some fresh air.
"A lot of these kids have never had a chance to go fishing," Bill DeWeese with the Kiwanis Club told the news channel. "Helping the kids and having fun with the kids, that's what we do."
The youngsters, who are either in foster care or in the hospital with serious illnesses, don't get to spend a lot of time exploring the wonders of nature. Many look forward to the derby where they are able to grab a fishing pole and bait and head to the lake in the hopes of catching a big fish. The local Kiwanis Club has been helping kids in these groups for more than 30 years.
"A trip out of their normal lives of going to therapy and going to the offices for visits," Sarah Palmer, a social worker who works with the kids, told the news outlet. "You know, stressful situations for children that are in need and in need of care."
Being outside offers youngsters a number of benefits. The National Wildlife Federation reports healthy kids
who engage in outdoor play
are typically less stressed and anxious. They also have better social skills overall.