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From Screen Time to Green Time: L.L.Bean, National Wildlife Federation Team Up to Help Parents Get Their Kids Outdoors

Introducing the “Green Hour,” a program with easy, enriching activities for kids

FREEPORT, Maine – L.L.Bean and the National Wildlife Federation are teaming up to provide fun and easy ways for kids to go from ‘screen time’ to ‘green time.’ The program, called “The Green Hour,” includes seasonal activities designed to encourage kids to spend more time outdoors.

Parents with younger children are struggling with a challenging pandemic paradigm: work at home, school at home, play at home. Research from the American Psychological Association shows parents with children are experiencing higher levels of stress as they struggle with how to make it all work. Furthermore, between remote learning and more unstructured leisure time, kids are spending significantly more time online. In a Parents Together Survey, nearly half of respondents’ kids (48%) are currently spending more than six hours per day online.

“Exploring the outdoors and connecting with nature has been a lifeline for many American families — and especially during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The National Wildlife Federation wants to connect more families with the outdoors through the Green Hour Movement by providing seasonal activities for kids and providing resources to help parents get their families playing and learning in nature on a regular basis. We are proud to team up with L.L.Bean to support families across America in their quest to discover the solace, health benefits, and sense of wonder that nature and wildlife provide.”

“Our purpose is to inspire and enable people to experience the restorative power of being outside,” said Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman and great-grandson of L.L.Bean. “The stresses of the pandemic make outdoor time even more important. Our partnership with the National Wildlife Federation is intended to provide parents with some relief, and kids with some fun ways to play outside.”

As the colder months approach, it is hard not to imagine both stress and screen time increasing. Through this partnership, L.L.Bean and the National Wildlife Federation are committed to helping parents by providing kids with different activities each week starting this week. The activities – which include playing bird bingo, going on a leaf patrol, becoming a wildlife detective and identifying animal tracks – provide simple ways for kids to connect with nature throughout each season. To make their outdoor experiences more meaningful, kids are encouraged to keep a Nature Notebook to guide their discoveries and document their new knowledge of the natural world.

The idea of a "Green Hour” comes from research on creative play and health by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Research also shows the best way to connect young people to a lifelong concern for nature, wildlife and the outdoors is through regular positive experiences with nature.

Research from the National Wildlife Federation shows that getting outside and connecting with nature on a regular basis has important emotional, mental and physical health benefits, especially for children. Recent studies show outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances imagination and attention spans, decreases aggression and boosts classroom performance. In addition, children who spend time in nature regularly are shown to become better stewards of the environment.

Green Hour content will be distributed by both L.L.Bean and the National Wildlife Federation through newsletters, social media, on the L.L.Bean Outside web page, as well as the Green Hour website. While content is delivered online, all activities are designed to get kids and families outside and to shape habits of connecting with nature at home safely.

For more information on The Green Hour, please visit www.thegreenhour.org.

About L.L.Bean, Inc.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. Still family owned, Shawn Gorman, great grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2013. While its business has grown over the years, L.L.Bean continues to uphold the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. In the past five years, L.L.Bean has donated over $6 million toward conservation and land stewardship. L.L.Bean operates 54 stores in 19 states across the United States, along with 25 stores in Japan. The 220,000-sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at www.llbean.com, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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