Background or introduction outlines the rationale for your toy/game.

Background or introduction outlines the rationale for your toy/game.

a. You will begin with a brief review of the literature. Background information

(cite 3-5 academic sources). These sources may include your textbook and/or

empirical articles.

b. An explicit statement about the purpose or goal of your activity.

 

40

points

Activity Design

a. This section should begin with the age group whom your artifact or program is designed for, and a short summary of where they are cognitively.

b. Materials and Design – Be specific. We can’t see your project as you envision it. For example, how big is it? What types of materials would be used? Etc.(you may wish to included a graphic or diagram here.)

c. A description of how the activity or artifact works. Again, be specific. Describe the different parts and their functions.

 

40

points

Expected Benefits/Conclusion

a. Briefly summarize your proposal.  Conclude with a final statement about why parents/educators should utilize this activity or object.

 

10

points

References

Please use APA format. This means you should include a title page, the body of your paper, and a reference page. Instead of using the traditional sections for APA, you can use some rendition of “Introduction”, “Design”, “Expected Benefits”, and “Conclusion”.

 

10

points

Extra Credit

Create a three-dimensional representation of your toy/game to turn in during the last week of class or during office hours of Finals Week.

10-20

points

 

Sample Paper

Introduction

There are many factors contributing to the rising trend of children spending less time outdoors. In their manuscript urging environmental inequality researchers to consider youth access to green spaces, Strife and Downey (2009) summarize research indicating socioeconomic factors like poverty and crime that might restrict access to safe parks and other naturalized areas (p. 13). Race and class disparities are a factor of environmental inequality as well, as many minority groups in low-income areas not only have more limited regular access, but may have negative and perceptions about the outdoors due to inexperience and cultural barriers (Strife & Downey, 2009, p. 11). Strife and Downey also outline research supporting the benefits of children from all races and classes spending time in nature, including, “Improved cognitive functioning, […] better motor coordination, reduced stress levels, increased social interaction with adults and other children, and improved social skills” (2009, p. 7). This research supports the need for children to have safe access to outdoor spaces for the benefit of their mental and physical health, as well as for the future of environmentalism. It also shows the importance of understanding the socioeconomic factors that must be acknowledged so that nature can be made more accessible for all, not only those who can afford it or have had limitless unquestioned cultural access all along.

One way for children access to natural environments can be through their school grounds. In their longitudinal study, Ulset, Vitaro, Brendgen, Bekkhus, and Borge (2017) surveyed and tested multiple Norwegian daycares for factors including inattention and hyperactivity, children’s temperament, quantity of outdoor time, quality of daycare, and socioeconomic status, among other specific measures like digit span, and parents’ psychological functioning. Their findings revealed that the more time children spent playing outside, the lower teachers rated attention-hyperactivity symptoms (p. 75). Ulset et al. theorize that this could be due to the fact that “Outdoor daycare settings […] offer rich opportunities for both effortless and effortful attention, allowing children to switch back and forth between the two states of attention” (p. 76), as well as the increased physical activity which can decrease symptoms of ADHD and increase cognitive and executive function. However, few daycares or schools are considered to be “outdoor settings” in the United States, so educators and administrators must continue to look to the research to improve access to safe naturalized areas in schools.

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