Smurfs Encourage Kids to Get Outdoors


                                         

Ever wonder what makes the Smurfs so happy? The Forest, of course!

Little blue gnome-like creatures helped the U.S. Forest Service kick off its latest campaign to get people out into the woods. Partnering with the Ad Council and Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Forest Service recently launched its Discover the Forest campaign featuring the Smurfs and their new movie, The Smurfs 2.

Studies have shown that the time children in the United States spend outdoors has declined 50 percent over the past 20 years.Population shifts to urban and suburban environments, an increase in children’s indoor activities, and a lack of awareness of, or access to, nearby nature locations have contributed to this trend. However, research shows there are many benefits to kids spending time in nature. Time spent outdoors gives children the ability to explore, use their imaginations, discover new wildlife and engage in unstructured and adventurous play.

To encourage kids – and grown-ups – to “unplug” and get outdoors, the Discover the Forest campaign partnered with Sony Pictures to launch a series of public service announcements (PSAs) and educational materials featuring characters from the animated adventure, The Smurfs 2. The PSAs and the educational materials aim to encourage parents, caregivers and their kids to go out to the forest to experience the wonder and magic of nature.

As inhabitants of the forest, the blue, fun-loving Smurfs are the perfect ambassadors for forest recreation. Their enthusiasm for the environment inspires families to create their own forest adventures and reap the many rewards that nature has to offer.


To get outdoors and discover the forest today, visit http://discovertheforest.org/where-to-go.

Article by Anabele Cornejo, Cleveland National Forest, U.S. Forest Service