Posts Tagged ‘national play strategy’

Ministers don’t know what they’re playing at

17/03/2011, 07:00:30 AM

by Sally Bercow

As kids we played outside from dawn till dusk, often entirely unsupervised (“helicopter parents” hadn’t taken off in the 1970s). We lived right beside a wood (oh how exhilarating to shinny up a tree), at the top of a steep footpath (aaaagh – must remember that ride-ons don’t have brakes), next door but one to a garage (12 old car tyres an impressive castle make), in a village (personal knock-down-ginger record: 75 doors in under 30 minutes). We spent hours playing games in the local streets; days exploring the woods and fields; weeks running around having fun in the fresh air.

Now, as much as it would please my dear mum, for accuracy’s sake I mustn’t paint a picture of uninterrupted childhood bliss. And I’m certainly not normally one for nostalgia. On the contrary, my eyes roll wildly whenever ageing Tories look up from their Daily Mail to reminisce about a golden age that, to my mind, didn’t exist.

That said, though, it is indisputable that outdoor play opportunities for kids today are so much more limited than they used to be. No longer do the words of Dorothy Parker (“The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant – and let the air out of their tyres”) ring true. Indeed, today a mere one in five children regularly plays outside in their neighbourhood. (more…)

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