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Renewable Energy: Kid Powered Play

Renewable Energy: Kid Powered Play

The importance of teaching children to care for the food they ingest, the clean air they breathe, for the oceans they swim in, and the planet they’ll inherit, will need to be a priority if we want to build a bright green future.

Along with teaching children through green curriculums and books about the environment, how about reaching children where they play?

5 Health Reasons Children Need To Play (adapted from the American Heart Association)

1. Children in the United States today are less fit than they were a generation ago. Many have early signs of cardiovascular risk factors such as physical inactivity, excess weight, and higher blood cholesterol.
2. In fitness testing children between the ages 6–17, shows that children are getting slower in endurance running and weaker.
3. The prevalence of overweight American adolescents ages increased to nearly 179% since 1971.
4. An estimated 59% of children under ages 4–11 are exposed to secondhand smoke in the home, a known risk factor for heart disease.
5. 37.2% of high school students spend three or more hours a day watching TV.

Playgrounds and play structures are places where children can have fun and expend the energy they need to stay healthy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if playgrounds could also teach children to save the planet?

Designers, You Song Young, Jin Soo Yeon, Ahn Ho Sang, and Lee Sung Jae, created The Natural Energy Park, a playground that generates kids’ energy to create renewable energy to power the play structure.

Examples: After climbing a ladder into a “laboratory”, kids spin a wheel that will illuminate “Benjamin Franklin’s kite”. An optical illusion will spin at varying speeds as children adjust a solar panel (!!) to different angles, and pedaling a bicycle powers a pinwheel that illuminates lights. There’s even a seesaw powered water-wheel.

Introducing the concepts of wind, water, and sun as sources of renewable energy means children are having good clean green fun!

Read more: Children, Community, EcoNesting, Family, Fitness, Healthy Schools, Life, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.

50 comments

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9:07AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

I want a seesaw powered water wheel!

9:36PM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

thanks

4:45PM PDT on May 23, 2011

Ta!

9:31AM PDT on May 8, 2011

Good idea, but what happens when they break it in a day?

9:32AM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

I'm not a big fan of 'structured' toys, but this one is a good one.

6:15AM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

What a fantastic idea I love it. Three cheers for the inventors and the next generation

8:18PM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

fatastic

11:20AM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

Very creative and inspiring. Thanks for the post.

5:07AM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

thanks for telling the world

5:07AM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

wow

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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