Encouraging Children to Play Outside |AD


Our three boys love being outside, whatever the weather. As I sit and type this, it’s raining lightly, but all three of them are in the back garden in their wellies and jackets. I’m not out there with them because I don’t believe in constantly hovering over them.  I can hear them laughing and playing, and occasionally one of them come in whining because they’ve bumped their knee or something. A quick ‘magic kiss’ and cuddle and they’re back out there.

I was shocked to read that a recent survey found that children, on average, spend just five hours a week outdoors, but more than 45 hours a week watching TV or playing on tablets and computers. Whilst I have absolutely no issue with kids watching TV or playing on a tablet, those figures horrify me. I know it’s easy for me to say that, as we are lucky enough to live somewhere we lots of open space, but even when we lived in a city, the kids were always in the garden.

I think, generally, as parents, we have all become over -protective.  I’ve often sat and watched kids playing in the park or at playgroups, with their parents following every step, telling them not to go on that slide because it’s too big, not to pick up the worm because it’s dirty, not to go in the  mud in case they get it on their clothes. ‘Be careful’ is a phrase bandied about a lot by parents. I’m aware that I say it too often sometimes and I want to kick myself for saying that. If they fall over, they’ll get back up. Examining a snail isn’t going to hurt them. Mud washes out.

Sudocrem have set up the ‘Play More’ initiative, trying to encourage children to get outside as much as possible, even if it is only in their own back gardens. They recognise the importance of allowing children to take risks and be a little bit daring, even if it does result in a few cuts and bruises. Brand manager Georgina Fotopoulou says:

“Children love outdoor play but they’re bound to scrape their knees. This is all part of the learning process. A cuddle and a tub of Sudocrem antiseptic healing cream can make a lot of things better. We’ve been healing children for generations and we’re proud to promote the spirit of adventure with Play More”

They are offering community nurseries the chance to win either a playground regeneration grant or outdoor toy equipment. To nominate your nursery, visit www.sudocrem.co.uk/social-hub.

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