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Have you been outside lately?

What’s the plan?

With a new year kicking off for us in the Hangout and Day Care and the exciting launch of Varsity it brings us a shimmering light of thought provoking concepts.
Every September we gather the Kids Committee in order to prepare for the New Year. We get a great mix of interests brought to the table but also a lot of concerning ones revolving around screen time.
Now don’t get us wrong we love our movies but when gamers and bloggers and bring our own mobiles come into the equation we ask ourselves

”What happened to play?”

Same applies to what they will plan to do when they get home – rarely we will hear a reply that doesn’t include a screen or a jammed packed schedule of extra curricular activities; but, we do worry that ‘Free play’ is slowly being pushed out of children’s daily activities.
One of our Standards for Inspection is regarding outdoor facilities. Being an urban setting this can present some challenges but we are lucky to have a variety of spaces as well as those in and outside the Omagh area that we avail of daily. We still aim to continue to build more areas in order to provide kids with what we had when we were younger – the old school ways of play and boost their aspirations to create play.
My point is; if our steady focus is emphasising the consideration and awareness of emotional, physical or mental health to help generate the imagination flow, then why has technology become a dependency rather than the aid it was supposed to be?
I’m sure you would agree when you watch this amazing video created by Nature Valley. This is their take on Richard Louv’s research who coined the phrase: ”nature-deficit disorder” in identifying the major decline on children being outdoors and losing their affinity with nature.
*”What’s happening to children about losing their connection is real and we have some very real reasons to be afraid of the consequences.”