This week is Love Outdoor Play Week!
Outdoor Play Week is a campaign being led by Re:Play and is now in its fifth year. It is all about celebrating the play opportunities on offer in the fantastic green spaces across the South East.
It is an annual celebration with events organised all over the region to help children and young people get out and play, encouraging and promoting outdoor play, whatever the weather. Reminding play workers and families alike that outdoor play is not just for the summer, and that as long as you are dressed appropriately you can play out all year around.
Outdoor Play Week was started in the wake of research showing that children are spending less time playing outdoors than ever before. A survey for Natural England found that as little as 10 per cent of their time is spent outdoors. The attraction of TV and computer entertainment takes much of the blame; with a recent Childwise survey finding that, on average, children spent nearly five and a half hours a day in front of a screen. It is hoped that the better use of our green spaces will be achieved; not only during that week, but that families may return to these sites throughout the year. In turn we hope that this will contribute towards tackling childhood obesity by making children and their families more physically active.
Children can experience a whole raft of benefits from outdoor play. Play not only improves physical fitness, but greater emotional well-being, improved self-esteem, confidence and better social skills. Spending time outside in nature also puts children in touch with their senses and has a calming influence, helping them to cope with stress.
The ethos of Outdoor Play Week is very similar to Play England’s Love Outdoor Play campaign. This calls on everyone to do something to make sure that more children can play out more often. So this year we are rebranding to Love Outdoor Play Week.
Love Outdoor Play Week runs from 15th– 22nd March. What we are asking you to do is to host a Love Outdoor Play Event at your setting or your local authority, depending on your job role……email email@example.com and let us know what you have planned. We have a free resource pack on our website packed full of outdoor play ideas and tips for organising an event at http://www.replayse.org.uk/love-outdoor-play-week