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Did you play outside much as a child?

Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,942

Scope community team

edited August 2019 in Coffee lounge

Happy Playday 2019!

I know my kids don’t get outside and play as much as I would like and certainly nowhere near as much as I used to. Did you play outside much as a child?

Play is thought to be vital to children’s well-being, confidence, development and health, and it’s fundamental for children’s enjoyment of childhood. In light of further cuts to play services across the United Kingdom, Playday campaigns to highlight the importance of play in children’s lives, the importance of a child’s right to play and helps organise hundreds of community play events every year.

Playday events come in all shapes and sizes, from street parties and festivals in parks, adventures in our woodlands and fields to small events with just a couple of kids involved. You can find how Playday is being celebrated near you here. But what do you think about playing outside? 

What could be done to encourage kids to get outside and play? Do you think your children go outside and play as much as you’d like? What are some of your best memories from playing outside when you were a child? Is there anything that discourages you from letting your children play outside?

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  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    A very good question Adrian .... If I was answering that question for myself , I would be better turning around the other way . Did I spend much time in my parents house as a child ?  ..The answer would be "No , I never spent much time in the house at all" ...during the school summer holidays from the end of June until the end of August I never spent much time in the house.  My own children were much the same, they spent very little time in the house.  ...but...their children ( our grandchildren ) sit hour upon hour staring at their phones , their mind is somewhere else altogether and when I speak to them , they are in a different world . I,m not sure how to stop this at all.....maybe limit their access to computers to a couple of hours today 🙄🤨
    As a child I lived  (and still do ) live in the country . We( my friends and i)  went fishing , cooked and ate the fish so no need to go home for something to eat , we also lived in the woods (irrespective of weather ) caught our dinner (fish or rabbits or pheasant ) ...when we had had enough of the woods we would head home for a day , for a bath and a sleep in a real bed . Of course when we had recharged our batteries we would get together and decide what to do next , we would sometimes get a back pack on and head to the north of Scotland .
    It was a terrible feeling having to go back to school ....somewhere I never felt at ease . Nope , I have not got a clue how to get the kids out more , they can fish, play football and do dozens of other activities sitting on the couch 🙄🤨
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Yes. We lived on a military base and my mom was a elementary school English teacher. She knew of the importance of play. My mindset is the same too. My children play all the time. We are a homeschooling family. I have read of studies confirming the value of play. 
  • M_AnthonyM_Anthony Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 309 Pioneering
    I used to. While we leave on an estate there are various open squares around them, where me and my cousin used to take our BMX bikes (anyone remember them? Or am I getting too old  :)). We were also allowed to go play football around his area which had a green. We could stay out until dust. 

    Now the area has changed, where we played the crime level has shot up, so I can see why I don't see as many kids playing around here as when we were kids. 

    Crime aside, computers/consoles were around when I was growing up and I had great fun on them, but we didn't have the Internet/social media which can hook kids to screens more, meaning less physical activity and going out less.

    I would say to try and encourage kids to take as many organised activities as possible e.g. sports, martial arts, join youth clubs. These activities would limit online distractions and help with social skills. While I am not a parent, I would also say on things such as day trips you should ban phones/tablets etc to be left at home. 
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,998 Disability Gamechanger
    We lived in a variety of places, as my dad was a soldier. But yeh, we played out all the time. Used to take picnics of a bottle of water and sugar sandwiches. We took turns for a swig of water and there were bits of floating bread in the bottle. never harmed us... dont think!
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • izaiza Member Posts: 471 Pioneering
    Hi, yes I played a lot outside as a child. I rolleskated and cycled most of the days. I played with friends on playgrounds and went to play to empty orchards. I was lucky as we could play without the supervision of any parents. I feel sorry for kids growing up today as most of them do not have the freedom to play independently without any adult sitting near by them. 
  • AlisonNettyAlisonNetty Member Posts: 138 Pioneering
    I use to go out every day. I had a bike back then..that was my freedom. Home life wasn't to go. I had s sister that didn't like me and got me into all sorts of trouble and she was much older then me. My mum has another marriage before my dad...
    I had 2 step sisters from that marriage. I had an mentally I'll brother,  he had a mind of a 4 year old.... so he would be hone playing. He was my sisters favourite. 

    Anyhow, I went out a lot to get away from all that... I lived my bike and skates. 
    Its far to dangerous our child to wo see like I use to... I get very worried when my nine year granddaughters plays out... i make her check in to let me know she's ok. 
    There are far to many things that could hurt our young these days. 
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,289 Disability Gamechanger
    As children and teenagers all our playtime was spent outside fishing, bike riding, playing in the woods all activities where not on our door steps. There was no mobile phones we didn’t have watches and we never got lost or late home for meals, no accidents, no abnormal intervention by strangers. This was fifty years ago and we allowed our children to do the same and yes still no mobile phone to hand as they where just becoming the norm for the well to do. As a parent did we have stressful times wondering, no .
  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 440 Pioneering
    Living on a farm for the first 20 odd years of my life, playing out side, with my sisters and our friends was the natural thing to do, riding bicycles, along the tracks between fields (bridal paths for horses) playing in hedge rows, and in the various woods, even occassionally helping out with the farming especially at harvest time. 
  • justm3xjustm3x Member Posts: 16 Listener
    Yes I did .... in the summer holidays, we had a play scheme over the local park where we did so many great activities. I have 4 brothers and a sister so my mum would turf us out in the morning, we would come back for lunch and then back to the park. We would go home usually when the street lights came on... Very different world now, the park is pretty much empty but for a few people walking their dogs.
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,259 Disability Gamechanger
    No...too many risks & dangers outside unless in the back garden under supervision.  Looking back now I wonder if my parents were a little overprotective considering we lived in a small, rural village...  :D 

  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    edited August 2019
    I had so much freedom as a child and life was idyllic living on a prefab estate in the middle of nowhere. Even when mum had to move us to town when the estate was due to demolished there were plenty of parks and open areas to play, and 'stranger danger' wasn't such a thing back then and nowhere near as many cars around.
    But today, even if they have the opportunity to go play outside in areas provided, the kids seem to want to stay stuck to their game screens and mobiles etc., while the youths just wan to vandalize everything in sight.
    But it just seems to be the way forward now - elsewhere, in some other thread, someone mentioned the film Idiocracy.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,998 Disability Gamechanger
    childhood obesity can be caused by all the electronic games they play indoors now.
    Streets aren`t safe.....too much traffic...too many strangers...parents are frightened to let kids play out...innit a shame!
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    We went to a beach yesterday. I played beach cricket and we held a beach art competition too. We went for walks and worked out at the gym too. On Tuesday we are going to a running track for a fun running session and on Friday I am planning on having a fun tennis game with a couple of friends. 
  • Hart86Hart86 Member Posts: 394 Pioneering
    I wasn’t allowed to!! But I loved to watch all the other kids outside until my parents called the police on the troublesome neighbours!! 😂😂
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    When I was a child, my parents used to play games on Friday nights. When we fly, I take a couple of card games with me for the kids. Every Friday, we play games as a family. Or make something. In the summertime, we spend most of our time at a park, having fun. 
  • redchicken43redchicken43 Member Posts: 48 Pioneering
    edited September 2019
    We used to travel miles and miles on our bikes as kids as it was our only means of transport and our parents didn’t really have any idea of where we were. My kids on the other hand are prone to spending a fair amount of time online, playing games. But in recent years my eldest some had also taken up cycling and my youngest likes going to the park with his friends, so they are becoming more active eventually.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    That's great that they are able to go cycling as well, I bet it brings back memories! I used to love calling for friends after school and going to the park!
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  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 922 Pioneering
    I did piano, figure skating, dance, etc., and obviously I did my homework inside, but otherwise I was out!

    In summer my bro and I would play in the back yard, in the close behind our house w/ friends, in the park next door, at the community pool or a friend's pool, in the woods (short cycle away), or just riding around. Our family went camping (in a tent) for a couple of weeks every summer, and I went camping, canoeing and hiking a lot w/ Girl Guides.

    In winter (I grew up in Montreal, Canada from '75-'94) we'd be in the same places, having snowball fights, making giant snowballs (the biggest was 3 feet tall and took until the start of June to melt!), making snowmen (1 year, when the snow started to melt, we realised we'd put the snowman on top of our picnic table w/out realising! There was a lot of snow back then), skating in the ice rink in the park (city put up boards in a rectangle, parents would spray w/ water, remove snow, etc.), and our 3 favourite things:

    1. We'd each build a snow fort, then pummel each other with snowballs;

    2. Digging for "diamonds": machines would clear the snow off the roads and blow it out a chute onto the front 4 feet of the gardens. The mounds would get up to 4.5 feet tall some years, and you and could walk along the tops of them all the way to school.The snow was so heavy that near the bottoms hand-sized chunks of ice would form. We'd dig them out and make huge piles of "treasure"! 

    3. We used to make quinzees in the back yard. Like little igloos. Make a big pile of snow, pat it so it's really solid, leave it for an hour, then dig out the inside. If you sat inside and covered the doorway it would get warm enough to take off your snow suit. A few times we made whole towns of them - 6 or 7, with paths dug out between them, benches... It was great! 

    We'd also go skiing pretty often, cross-country (woods) or downhill (there were a couple of hills that were really cheap nearby). Sometimes it was too cold (-25 - -30C), so we he had to stay in. Even snowsuits didn't keep you warm for long.

    And of course, I mowed the lawn, we raked leaves, helped grow and pick veggies, and dug out the car and driveway all the time. 

    We didn't have much money, but we didn't need it. 

    Miss it...

  • redchicken43redchicken43 Member Posts: 48 Pioneering
    @Wayley That sounds amazing. Never seemed to get more than a couple of inches of snow when I was a kid
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