PLAY ALL DAY
Did you know that 85% of kids these days spend less than two hours each day playing outside? I don’t know about you, but I was sooo surprised to hear that statistic considering that the majority of my childhood was spent playing outside. Yours was probably the same!
So to try and help raise the number of hours kids play freely outside each day, Australia is launching its first Outdoor Classroom Day thanks to OMO’s Dirt Is Good campaign and Nature Play. With over 1.1 million kids already taking part globally, I think it’s such a good idea that Australia is now on board too, woohoo!
After school, I spent every single afternoon playing with my sister, Maha, and our neighbours in our suburban Sydney street. I’d climb trees, play hide and seek and my favourite, elastics! Remember that one?!
As soon as I heard mum yell out that dinner was ready, I was on my bike back home quick sticks. I made sure I was always home in time for dinner (unsurprisingly, nothing has changed haha). Weekends and school holidays weren’t that different either; it just meant I could spend the whole day outside, rather than just a few hours. I was in heaven!
One of my favourite games to play with Maha was skipping competitions. We'd be outside for hours, each of us trying to beat the other one, and saying it was "best out of 10" which quickly became "best out of 50". Mum would be watching us from the kitchen window and eventually she wouldn't be able to resist coming outside to join us. Mum would make up the best games and crafts for us to be outside. We put paper bags over broomsticks and drew horse faces on them to turn them into "ponies". We had egg and spoon races and three-legged races too.
Summers were spent under the sprinkler and Easter was spent doing an outdoor egg hunt.
Outdoor Classroom Day is already a global movement so I am so stoked that it’s finally reached our shores because it is so important that our little ones are getting all the benefits of playing outdoors, not to mention all the fun that can be had playing in the backyard! We learnt so many things by playing outdoors, like resilience, perseverance and creativity, and because I think I had a pretty excellent childhood, I think all kids should get the same.
The research that OMO conducted also shows that 93% of children wish more of their classes were taught outside. It makes sense considering we, as adults, also like spending as much time as possible outside. If only I could run a business from the beach – that would be the dream!
So on Thursday 7th of September, I would love to see teachers, parents and kids getting involved in the nation’s first Outdoor Classroom Day. If you’re a teacher, it would be amazing if you could register your school and take your classroom outside that day and if you’re a parent, you can find a ton of fun outdoor play ideas for your kids here.
This is a sponsored collaboration with OMO and Outdoor Classroom Day.Thank you to Stylish & Hip Kids Photography for the images.