HomeFront: We love outdoor play because..

Anna Matthews is one of the founders of Home Front Forces.  The initiative is a new free, secure and age appropriate website for children and families affected by deployment. As an army child myself, I can clearly see the need for a forum like this to help young people cope with the stresses of a parenting being far away and often in very dangerous places. Important work which I hope they secure more funding for. Here Anna describes why the Home Front team love outdoor play.

We love outdoor play at the HomeFront. Although we live in the middle of a busy city and our house is in a very modern complex, the HomeFront kids spend a lot of time outdoors. The spacious design includes wide access ramps and pathways, which the HomeFront kids use to perfect cycling, skateboarding and roller skating. Southampton has fantastic parks, play grounds and open spaces. We have been known on a very fine day to walk home and end up soaking wet having paddled in the fountain in our school uniforms.

Our very favourite outdoor play is during the months of late April till early September. After a week of working on the HomeFront Forces website and a week of Mr HomeFront being away we will pack the car, throw in our very basic tent and head off. We always choose a campsite from our favourite book ‘Cool Camping for Kids’ because the sites in this book are what we like best, lots of space, lots of kids basic and unspoilt.

When we arrive, the HomeFront kids are off as a little gang to just wander loose, hang out, get very dirty, find new friends and just have lots of fun. We do not need to move. We can sit in our camping chairs, enjoy a slow coffee and a good book because the HomeFront kids are at their happiest playing until the light has gone. They generally snuggle down into their sleeping bags as the light fades, very tired and dirty and sleep really well until it is light and time to find their new friends again.

We arrive home early evening on a Sunday having had the very best time without spending lots of money with very grubby happy HomeFront kids. They then enjoy a good long soak in the bath emerging looking squeaky clean for the week ahead counting the sleeps until Friday and fingers crossed good camping weather.

Discover more about Home Front Forces and follow Anna and Lorraine on Twitter here.

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