Kids Need Adventurous Play

Posted on August 3, 2008  Comments (3)

A survey commissioned by Play England for Playday found a change in the places where children and young people today experience adventurous and challenging play. As children, 70% of adults enjoyed most of their adventures in natural outdoor environments. This compares with only 29% of children today as both the space and the freedom to roam has dramatically declined in recent years. Today, children’s experiences of adventure are confined to designated areas such as playgrounds (56%), their homes (48%) or theme parks (44%).

‘Playing is an essential part of growing up,’ said Adrian Voce, Director of Play England. ‘Starting from their earliest play experiences, children both need and want to push their boundaries in order to explore their limits and develop their abilities. Children would never learn to walk, climb stairs or ride a bicycle unless they were strongly motivated to respond to challenges – but we must accept that these things inevitably involve an element risk.

‘Adventurous play that both challenges and excites children helps instill critical life skills. Constantly wrapping children in cotton wool can leave them ill equipped to deal with stressful or challenging situations they might encounter later in life.’

Full press release

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3 Responses to “Kids Need Adventurous Play”

  1. Colin
    August 4th, 2008 @ 11:43 am

    Certain outdoor activities might be dangerous when there’s not enough knowledge of how to behave in a certain situation. They’ll be safe if you do. But if you never had the opportunity to collect experiences, how could you know how to react?
    Playing is a way of learning, and if it is limitated to far, opportunities of learning are limitated (and of having fun, let’s not forget that). There are things you won’t learn from books. In German we have a saying, which goes (roughly translated) like this: “What little Johnny doesn’t learn, John won’t learn anymore.”

  2. Raj Krishnaswamy
    August 4th, 2008 @ 3:39 pm

    Very interesting data. The birth of the video gaming industry is partly to blame I would say. Here is an idea. Just like the Wii gaming system invokes some physical movements such as simulating a baseball hit, can a video game be developed that somehow gives you points based upon some physical activity in the outdoors? That could get these kids out in to the outdoors of whatever space is left. Thank you.

  3. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Tinker School: Engineering Camp
    August 5th, 2008 @ 8:45 am

    “The Tinkering School offers an exploratory curriculum designed to help kids – ages 7 to 17 – learn how to build things…”

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