Something I noticed right off the bat with both The Nature of God DVDs and books is that you are able to relate so well to children and get them excited about creation. How are you able to do that?

Partly because I think inside I’m still eight years old. I have a youthful spirit, and as a child I always wanted to be Peter Pan. I always wanted to be a little boy and have fun. And I just love little kids, and I love the imagination that children have and the wonder and the innocence that they possess. And I remember even being young and recognizing that and wanting to always have that. And so I loved watching children’s television growing up, and I still do—especially the shows that really connect with kids and inspire them. And I wanted to do that when I grew up. And so it’s about having fun, it’s about being positive, it’s about encouraging kids and playing to imagination and excitement. They respond to that, and it’s really fun to see them respond to that.

We live in such a plugged-in world these days. Do you think that this DVD and book series will encourage kids to put down the electronic devices, turn off their computers and get outside and explore?
 
That is my hope. It’s one of several hopes I have for this series, but definitely one of them. There’s a book written by Richard Louv called Last Child in the Woods, and the book basically covers the ideas and research behind understanding how childhood has changed. And it discusses the fact that children are not growing up the way previous generations have, and my generation actually is the last generation to know the world before the Internet. And so in some ways it feels sort of like a personal responsibility knowing that everyone who’s younger than me does not know what that world is like and that kids today are not spending their time outside.

I read somewhere that kids spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors these days, and on average seven hours in front of a screen which is just unreal. And as a result of that we’re seeing all kinds of issues like childhood obesity and other disorders and problems because of the lack of activity and also a lack of connection with the natural world. Richard Louv is not a believer, so he’s not talking about God. But we understand as Christians that, of course, it’s healthy to be in the creation that God made for us to be in. And if we separate ourselves from the natural world, from the things that are real and organic and tangible, then we’re going to be separating ourselves from the reality of the Creator who made it. Then there are studies that show that children who spend time outside in a green space when they take a break from homework, versus children who spend time in an inner-city space, are much more mentally ready to come back to work and are much more sharp and refreshed than children who are in an inner-city space. And this is just common sense for us as Christians when you know that the natural world is what God made, and having a connection with that and understanding the natural world and appreciating having an ability to spend time in the natural world is going to be healthy for us mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. God made the world, and we’re supposed to be in it.

I really do hope this whole project is something that’s going to take kids outside. [People say] ‘Well you’re making videos, Peter, but you want kids to go outside?’ Well, in order to get kids outside, you have to meet them where they are. And where are they? They’re in front of a screen. So you have to show them what they’re missing outside. And my hope with anything that I do—‘cause I also did a series for the Smithsonian Channel called Critter Quest!—and my hope with any of my shows and projects like this is that the kids turn off the TV as soon as the show is over and head outside. That is what I want to have happen.