Love outdoor play?

Perfect spot for days of games?

I know my daughters have had a great summer. How? Well walking back from the swimming pool on Friday the eldest one took off her shoes so she could regain some foot freedom. And the youngest grabbed my hand chattering about the different types of apples she wants to eat (Royal Bath, Katie and Russett were mentioned).

Each apple tastes a bit like raspberry or strawberry. Try a taste test!

Friends and dens
Then at the weekend they met up with friends at a local festival and instead of buying tat with their £2 pound coin they split into friend gangs and rushed into the small bit of woodland (it’s a pocket park!) to make a den and get lost in play. Hours later they returned covered in blackberry juice and as happy and relaxed as I’ve ever seen them. There was one mishap: a less outdoory child was stung by a nettle, fearful of the dock leaf my daughter proferred as a cure, but her tears stopped when the St John’s Ambulance put her whole arm in a bandage.

Not all parents/carers are going to be happy about raising a wild child – but tomorrow a fantastic new campaign is being launched, Love Outdoor Play – that will hopefully give masses of  us more confidence to let our kids explore the great outdoors, just by playing. You can find out more about how to help kickstart it at this website, and even donate a small amount to crowd fund the stickers. Do have a look now, it’s genius.

What stickers?
I’m imagining stickers on doors all over the neighbourhood that announce the occupants willingness to let their kids play outside (just like Neighbourhood Watch or No Junk Mail Please). With those stickers up I’m imagining more days when we can just rope off a road and let the locals kick a ball, walk stilts, chalk pictures or simply meet their nearest same-age friends for a chat and a giggle. And in places with more greenery than my home I’m imagining an assumption that the kids will ask “Can I play out?” because they know other friends will be playing out too…

Any ideas how to make your area better for playing out that would suit our Homemade Kids? I always think benches are a good start, especially if you’ve got little ones to watch. But adding interest to a street – say flower beds around the tree pits – is another simple change as it gives all-age kids a chance to stop, stare and be transported to their magical, creative worlds.

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