Guest post: Gareth Palmer describes why he loves outdoor play
Passionate about outdoor play, Playscene “design and install equipment for children, helping them on their journey of discovery”. Here he describes why he loves outdoor play.
Riding bikes, football, hide and seek, sledging, playing on the beach..
As a boy I loved playing outdoors. Riding bikes, football, hide and seek, sledging, playing on the beach… I just couldn’t get enough of the great outdoors!
At school, playtime was my paradise and it was never long enough. I remember looking at the clock in lessons, counting down the minutes until I could run outside for freedom in the open air…. and ‘wet breaks’ were my worst nightmare!
That’s why I think it’s such a great shame that over the past few years I have noticed an increasing number of children converting from outdoor fun, to computer games, watching TV or dvds. This surely goes hand in hand with the growing obesity problem we have in this country?
I truly believe that playing outdoors is key to a healthy lifestyle, not only for children as they are growing, but also setting them up for a healthy and active adult life.
It’s so important for young people to play outside and it’s proven to have massive health benefits. It keeps them fit, building strong muscles and bones, maintaining a healthy body weight, as well as lowering the risk of illness such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Alongside the health benefits, outdoor activity can also aid educational development, help children to sleep better and generally have a healthier outlook on life. I also think that it helps children socially – learning to play is fundamental to a child’s development.
In my adult life I have converted this love of play and the outdoors in to my livelihood and started up my own business selling outdoor equipment for children and schools. It’s something that I’m passionate about and I love nothing more than creating a fantastic play area that children can enjoy….. I just wish I wasn’t too big for them these days!
Got an iPhone? Seen a place to play? Help us create a national map of places to play here.