Saturday, 30 July 2011

Outdoors and our kids

by Eilleen

Hello everyone!

In my personal blog, I am running a competition for the National Tree Day campaign which is tomorrow.

Did you know that:

- only 13% of our children play outdoors more often than indoors?
- only 35% if our children play outdoors everyday?
- 1 in 10 children play outside once a week or less?

This is a huge difference from my childhood. When I remember my own childhood, I remember riding on my bike and exploring the neighbourhood all day.

My fondest memories were of my brother and I waking up on a Saturday morning, cycling (what I now know to be) 5 kms to a huge playground and we'd stay there all day. We knew it would be time to go home when the street lights would go on!

I remember cycling to the river and swimming with my friends. There is a small cliff face in that river and we'd dare each other to jump off the top and jump in.

I remember cycling even when it was cold - so cold that frost would form on my beanie and my gloves as I am riding!

I remember having tree climbing competitions where we would dare each other on how high we can go.

I want that for my kids......but.....its hard.

I sometimes feel that I should not let my kids out of my sight and if I let them go to the playground by themselves, then I am a bad mother.

I sometimes feel that I just don't have enough time to go outside with my kids and still get dinner done and pay house bills.

I would like them to jump in the river....but the government has now bulldozed the little cliff face next to the river so kids can't jump off there.

I would like them to climb the trees in the public recreation area outside my home.....but the government recently they came and chopped off all the lower branches to stop children from climbing the trees.

The trees without their lower branches

....... because all of that is dangerous....and the government might get sued.

While my children still play everyday outside, I know that they do not spend as much time outdoors as I did as a child.

And that just makes me sad.

I will be outdoors for National Tree Day. I can't join any of the planned activities, but you know what? The outdoors is just a door away. I hope you will be too.


Robert said...

When I was little, there wasn/t that much to do indoors unless you were really inventive. We didn't have a telly till I was twelve. Nowadays it's all telly, computers and electronic stuff, and it all happens indoors.

Erin said...

Ahh yes....the street lights. I think it was the universal "better get home quick" signal for our generation!

Remember watermelon seed-spitting contests? And hide-and-seek where the entire neighbourhood was fair game? And all those skipping rhymes about who we were going to marry?

Fun times!

Lindsey said...

I remember being outside a ton when I was growing up. We used to climb the tree by our garage and jump across to the roof and hang out there!
We also used to play "spies" - which was just my brother, his friends and I running around the neighborhood and jumping over hedges while wearing all black.
I try to get my kiddo outside as much as I can, but I feel you on the statements about how hard that is. We are usually out back in a safe, protected yard. And it's not the same!
I like that statement about the outdoors being one doorway away...that is a great line!

First Gen American said...

Thankfully with the exception of winter weeknights, my kids are outdoors everyday and I love everything about it except that my little one is always covered in mosquito bites. He has sensitive skin so I'm always battling..should I spray him or will he be okay today. Poor guy took after his mom and is a mosquito magnet. Heck it's still better than sitting outside and watching TV.

elaine rickett said...

All very different to when I was a girl, wouldn't have missed my childhood for the world.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Great post. I fell out of trees regularly as a child. Might explain my short term memory issues ! But still, life outside is the best kind of life. Our grandkids, when here, know that very little time is spent indoors by any of us and they love that.