Kids don’t play outside like they used to, and there are, unfortunately, many reasons for that. Among them include the many fun technological devices that kids can use to level up their skills and entertainment. Kids spend on average of 60 hours a week on devices, and just 60 minutes a week playing outside. So sad! It’s time to restore some balance to that equation. There is much critical enrichment for kids who get to enjoy the simple pleasure of playing outside. Below are a few photos of special outdoor play with my own boys, including a special treasure ‘chest’ collected a few years back. The memories were so positive and powerful, I haven’t been allowed to throw it away!
Being in nature encourages mindfulness and curiosity. Kid explorers develop the skill of “noticing” things in an environment that is constantly changing and full of rich detail. They get to enjoy fresh air, changes in temperature and natural light. They get to experience the richness of plant life, watch creepy crawly insects and experience the splash of puddles. Outdoor play is a sensory-rich experience. If your kids are doing the Montessori method of schooling? Even better.
Unstructured time lets kids learn how to entertain themselves. How many times have you heard your kids say, “I’m bored!”? Kids who play outside in an unstructured way find something to do next, they get to be creative and stimulate their imaginations. Freeplay also encourages spontaneity, reduces rigid thinking and promotes problem-solving. Plus, kids are happy when they play outdoors. Our kids have so much to gain when we say, “Go play outside!” As my readers know, this is a big habit for my family, and for the past few years we’ve sent the boys right to the trampoline to giggle and burn off energy.
I think free play outdoors is crucial, and Springfree Canada agrees. That’s why the makers of the world’s safest trampolines partnered with Earth Day Canada, a not-for-profit organization that supports outdoor play as the foundation of environmental education and action. They want to encourage kids to play in a self-directed way outside by looking at what play options are available in schools, parks, streets and community green spaces. The community celebration last month in Toronto is shown here, but I can guarantee there will be greener grass and many more cherry blossoms during the West Vancouver Community Day this weekend!
In the name of outdoor free play, Springfree for Earth Day’s POP-UP Adventure Playground is taking place this weekend (Saturday, June 2nd ) at Ambleside Park, as part of the District’s Community Day. Two-time Olympic gold-medalist, Rosie MacLennan will be hosting this fun event. I’m super excited about this part, as Rosie and I traveled to Liberia, Africa together with Right to Play. Freedom to move, jump and play transcends cultures and I am so thrilled that Springfree is making their safe trampolines available to the children in mine!
At the West Vancouver Community Day event, kids will be able to jump on trampolines, can play in the Adventure Playground (a curated “wild” space of upcycled materials), they can participate in DIY gardening, get their faces painted and create chalk art.
The Springfree trampolines that kids play on will be donated to Earth Day Canada and one lucky guest will have the chance to win their very own trampoline. The event will be taking place between 11am and 4pm. Bring your own picnic and enjoy a day out with the family!
Disclosure: This post was made possible with a sponsorship with Springfree. All opinions are my own.