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snakes and ladders
science fiction movie
s entertainment
name of the game
working with children
computer game
open space
Getting Dirty
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Getting Dirty

It’s a sign of the times when children prefer to sit indoors staring at a screen instead of wanting to be charging around outside no matter what the weather. It appears that the only part of their body that is exercised is the thumbs!

As an ex teacher, it was extremely easy to differentiate between the children who knew how to play using every area of their environment and themselves from the children who could only play computer games. The difference was startling.

Children who have the opportunity to play outside have an enthusiasm for life, a wider vocabulary and a better general knowledge than their computer playing counterparts.

Don’t get me wrong, computer games are the modern equivalent of the hoop, Chopper bikes, space hoppers or snakes and ladders. They have their own place in the history of children's entertainment but, like so many things, moderation is the name of the game.

There is no need for a huge open space for children to be engrossed in their environment. A postage stamp garden, a spoon and some soil can create hours of fun and learning.

There seems to be an issue nowadays with health and safety. It is necessary for organisations working with children to use ‘clean’ soil and sand for children’s play. We want to keep our children safe but we want to give them experiences for living. Worm free soil just doesn’t have the same effect.

Children’s play could sometimes be classed as ‘clinical’. Sterilised this, sterilised that, disinfected, bleached, fumigated, sanitized and neutralised! It sounds like something from a science fiction movie.

The memories of outdoor play last for a lifetime. Stories come alive when told by those who played on bombed out buildings in wartime, climbed trees in the woods, fished in the streams and played football in the park There is a spark in their eyes and an enthusiasm in their voice. How much spark could be said comes from a story about a computer game? Whose voice would you hear? Mario, maybe? Or would you prefer the voice of your child?

The strange thing is, in this time of economic stress, playing outside can cost nothing and comes with free learning. The price of some computer games is extortionate and can come with R.S.I (Repetitive Strain Injury!). Some children (and adults) have forgotten what activities and games can be played outside.

Give children a break. Intersperse the computer with some grass or mud or sand or even rubble. Watch their cheeks colour, hear their laughter and wait for them to sleep soundly. Then wash the muddy, grass-stained clothes and smile at the memories they made.


Street Talk

Kymee  

I agree, do you think it could also come because moms don't have the strength to be stern and throw them outside, My mom would toss us outside and say go use your imagination. For me as a mom I just did not buy the games... Anyway right on point hope moms read this and get your point. Kymee

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Thanks Kymee. I think it is such a shame that thumbs have more exercise than legs. I love being outside, although I have to admit I hate being cold. I used to do playground duty with a hot water bottle under my coat!! x

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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