Mother Nature's Child: Growing Outdoors in the Media Age (educational)

  • Directed By: Camilla Rockwell
  • Produced By: Camilla Rockwell, Wendy Conquest

 Study Guide

Released: 2010
Running Time: 57 min
Subjects: Environmental Studies, Children, Youth & Family

MOTHER NATURE'S CHILD marks a moment in time when a living generation can still recall childhoods of free outdoor play. This will not be true for most children growing up today. Contemporary culture has undergone drastic change in the last three decades, forcing children indoors where they increasingly exhibit symptoms of "nature deficit": obesity, depression, and a range of learning disorders. MOTHER NATURE'S CHILD explores the various ways that time in nature promotes children’s well-being, contributes to the future of the planet, and nourishes the human spirit. The film investigates nature’s role in all aspects of child development -- physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual -- by examining unstructured outdoor play, parental fears, risk-taking, urban contact with nature, use of media, rites of passage and environmental stewardship. From urban schoolyards to deep wilderness adventures, intimate scenes with children from preschool through adolescence are complemented by insights from parents, teachers, and a forum of highly regarded experts, including Richard Louv, author of the best selling book Last Child in the Woods. Formatted in chapters and accompanied by a brief discussion guide, the DVD inspires vigorous conversations among students, teachers, families, outdoor educators, and health professionals.


  • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capitol, 2011 & 2013
  • Wild & Scenic Film Festival, 2012
  • Colorado Environmental Film Festival, 2012
  • Red Rocks Film Festival Market, 2011
  • American Conservation Film Festival, 2011
  • Whaleback Environmental Film Festival, 2011
  • Green Mountain Film Festival, 2011


"...a thoughtful and thought-provoking documentary on an interesting and relevant topic. Recommended."
—Video Librarian

MOTHER NATURE'S CHILD "demonstrates the essential fact that the risks of raising a generation of children away from nature are much larger-- for the young, society, and the planet-- than those that await them in the great outdoors."
—Sacha Vignieri, SCIENCE Magazine