I was surprised to hear that children these days prefer to do their homework or chores rather than play outdoors – wow, who would have thought it? Homework must be quite fun compared to when I was young!
The survey, commissioned by JCB to mark the launch of its ‘Fresh air campaign’, revealed that children are apparently spending just half the time playing outdoors than my generation of 1970 and 1980s kids did.
The wonders of technology
In some ways this doesn’t surprise me – with the temptation of, consoles, computers, mobile phones social networking and hundreds of TV programmes, it’s going to take some convincing to drag them away from all of this fantastic technology (not to mention the slightly dodgy weather we’ve become accustomed to).
Personally, I haven’t come across this dilemma quite yet as only having a child of toddler age, she is still very excited about the fact that her legs actually move her about from A to B and the current fad is to run, everywhere.
As it happens I am sitting here writing this while daddy and granddad take her up to Wandsworth Common for a kick and run about with a ball so that she has a long post-lunch nap… and we can get some jobs done in the house – there are definite perks to outdoor play, that’s for sure.
Fun outdoor activities for children
With this in mind, I was thinking about all of the great outdoor activities and ways to entice young people outdoors and away from their video games, not forgetting that understandably parents sometimes need a bit of reassurance when it comes to safety when playing outside.
Last week I read about how a group of parents in Colchester have actually managed to get permission from the local council to close their road for two hours a week to give children a safe place to play during the summer – bearing in mind that some families may not have a garden or park that close to their home, this seems like a great idea.
With all of the fun active toys, you can buy it’s also worth remembering some of the best outdoor games simply need a bit of imagination – you can’t beat ball games, shadow tag, red light green light, chase the rabbit, the list goes on. But with so many great gadgets and toys on the market, they will complement the many games that have been passed down from generation to generation.
There are so many outdoor toys you can go for, but this week I’ve decided to focus on the ever popular scooter. Let’s be honest, you can barely move these days without being tripped up by a kid on a scooter, and apparently over a million children in the UK now ride one. As well as just riding them up and down, there are hundreds of scooter games that can be played, such as ‘scooter scramble’ or other various tag and relay activities.
With so many different types of scooters available, it feels a little like doing research into a new car, and to be honest, you are probably wise doing this to make sure you get the best one for your child so that it is enjoyed and used well.
We know that the moment is going to come over the next year or so when we will need to invest in one, especially as the sprog is already starting to try and steal them from the park when she sees one parked up, but with so many different types, where do we start? Click here to Browse the best deals on scooters.
Flubit’s top 10 outdoor activities and toys
- Climbing frame
- Roller skates/inline skates
- Ball games
- Ride-on toys (including scooters, trikes, bikes)
- Sand and water play
- Ball pits