We love to share tips and advice with our online community about different ways to get children outside and playing as well as different things to do for outside play, both active play and imagination play. This article has some great tips to get the kids to play outside. We all know the value of outdoor play, and want to see out kids outside playing and having fun, but there are so many more factors at play in our busy modern world.
From the article “Who would have imagined 30 years ago that we would need to encourage parents to send their children outside to play? But, with children spending between 40 and 60 hours per week attached to electronic umbilici, and the balance of their time scheduled between school, sports and other extracurricular activities, educators, doctors and early childcare experts are beginning to see a myriad of negative effects ranging from reduced cognitive development as a result of overly structured activities that do not stimulate problem solving and creativity, to childhood obesity, reduced muscle development and balance and other physical ailments.”
We think it’s all about finding a balance that is right for your family. Every family is different, with their own needs, interests, routines and means. Sometimes when we talk with parents, it’s as though they feel like they need to be on one side or the other when it comes to these issues. i.e. no ipads and screen time at all or they love ipads and technology. We know every parent wants what is best for their child. The fact is modern kids and families do face different issues and a very different world than we did growing up so finding time for genuine, child lead outdoor play can be much tougher.
It is too simplistic to just say that children spend too much time on ipads or computers as they are valuable learning tools for their education and development in their own right. Children are busier today than any other generation with more co-curricular activities than ever. Most children do at least one sport once they hit school age which often takes up a minimum of 2 nights or a night and a weekend day, if there is a few children in the family this leaves even less time. Then there are music or dance lessons that many children attend, again this is valuable to their development, learning and happiness.
Many children are at school longer hours now too. Many families have both parents working so this can mean before and/ or after school care.
Housing is different now. More families live in units, apartment blocks and townhouses than ever before and backyards of traditional homes are much smaller. The emergence of more planned leisure areas and playgrounds in estates and communities is great to see, recognising families desire to get out and about close to home.
This is one of the main reasons we wanted a cubby house in our backyard, so the kids had a space that was safe and easily accessible at all times because we know that time can be hard to come by as they enter school and get busier and busier. Sometimes they run around and play, burning energy. Sometimes they play quietly, “cooking” in their kitchen. Sometimes they sit out there and read a book, or play their ipad. Sometimes they even come inside and watch TV! Everything has its place. It’s a fine balance. We hope you have found a happy balance for your family in this sometimes hectic modern world.
If you have any further tips about how you encourage outside play we’d love to hear them.
“MUM! Let’s play chasey.”“MUM! Jump on the trampoline with me!”“MUM! If you don’t play hide and seek, you can never have coffee again.”“MUM! I’ll pretend I’m a cat, and you pretend you’re mum.”Sometimes, I just don’t want to play. Scratch that, about 98% of the time, I don’t want to
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