How Much Outdoor Time Do Kids Really Need

The influx of electronic entertainment that seems to be taking over the modern household paired with unprecedented levels of parental fear have created a generation of kids that spend far less time enjoying the great outdoors than their predecessors. The resultant sedentary lifestyle that’s become the norm for many kids can lead to childhood obesity and related health risks, including diabetes and high blood pressure. What’s a parent to do when they’re not sure how much time outside is enough? This handy guide will help you get a basic idea of how much time your child should be spending outside and what her body needs to grow and stay in good shape, all while maintaining her safety and security.  Full blog

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Having messy fun with CBeebies

Play Scotland was one of the partner organisations at CBeebies Mr Bloom,’s Big Day Out weekend event in Falkirk.

There was a huge turn out for this very successful event  with 15,000 people over the two days ensuring it  was fun, mad and very busy. The enthusiastic Play Scotland volunteer team of five were non-stop making over 6500 masks and hats for the hoards of excited children and families who swamped the Play Scotland section in the Big Tent. Messy Play was the sign on the tent, and messy was exactly what they got.

The organisers said we got the prize for the messiest area of the whole event. Glue and glitter were the order of the day, with thousand of mums, dads and of course the children happily leaving the Play Scotland area covered in glitter glue and sparkles and proudly holding and wearing their masks and hats.

 

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Play Strategy for Scotland

Think about your favourite Play memories, where were your favourite places to play and who shared in your play adventures? For me, having everyday adventures involved whoever was out and about in the street, exploring the neighbourhood, and endless rule making for games we kept reinventing. Running water was a magnet and we often had skint knees, and bumps n bruises which we wore like badges of honour!

Every child needs to play freely in order to grow into a healthy, happy, creative and confident adult.

However, we know that children in Scotland don’t have the freedom and opportunities to play that we enjoyed and took for granted. In fact, children and young people tell us that they want more time and space to play at home, at school and in the community.

Scotland’s new National Play Strategy aims to sort this out by increasing awareness and understanding of children’s play needs, and the health, wellbeing and child-development benefits of play.

By promoting a wide range of actions that encourage quality play environments and play experiences for all abilities of babes and toddlers through to teens, you can be sure that everyday adventures will follow!

You can get involved in making Scotland more playful by contacting Play Scotland which has lots of free resources for parents and groups- with top ten tips on play ideas, messy play, culture play and play types. We will be playing at the CBeebies – Mr Bloom and Friends Big Day Out in Falkirk 29th and 30th June, and don’t forget National Playday on Wednesday 7th August 2013.

Marguerite Hunter Blair
Chief Executive
Play Scotland

 

 

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Play is the heart of wellbeing

Play is the heart of wellbeing. This is especially true for children and young people, but sadly in Scotland play is largely dismissed as frivolous or marginalised. Up until now Play Scotland has relied on United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child to promote the Child’s Right to Play in Scotland.

Play underpins the four principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child – non-discrimination, survival and development, the best interest of the child and participation. Play Scotland, members and supporters work to develop child-friendly communities in Scotland supported by play-friendly neighbourhoods where children can:

  • Meet friends and play
  • Walk safely in the streets on their own
  • Have green spaces for plants and animals
  • Participate in family, community and social life

With the support of the Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, we are confident that the crucial contribution of Play to children’s health and wellbeing will be fully recognised in the new Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill.

Putting play at the heart of wellbeing guidance will ensure that the Child’s Right to Play is explicit within the duties on public bodies to work together to design, plan and deliver their policies and services to improve wellbeing and achieve resilience.
The new Scottish Play Certificate will be available later this year and is designed for professionals from a wide range of disciplines whose work impacts on the general context of play for children and young people.

Last year over 80% of children in Scotland said they wanted to play outdoors more than they already do. We as adults need to ensure that local physical and social environments are supportive of play and we need to work together to overcome the barriers to play. The National Play Strategy for Scotland will set high level goals for play. Play Scotland is working to ensure that these translate into community led local actions. Play is at the heart of improving health and wellbeing, how can we all improve the play experience for children and young people in Scotland?

Marguerite Hunter Blair
Chief Executive
Play Scotland

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