As a child I spent most of my time outdoors. In the days just before the IT explosion, playing out was the most necessary extra-curricular activity. We roamed streets and fields, woods and streams, explorers or scientists trekking through the suburban jungle; stalking beasts’ footprints in the sand each summer at the beach; searching for crabs and other exotic creatures in the rock pools.
A large school field at the back became our ‘everything’; our football pitch, pirate ship, scientific expedition. It was as full during the summer holidays as it was through term-time. We convinced ourselves we’d found clusters of 4 leaf-clover and spent weeks staring at the soil and tiny plants and the minute creatures that live in our earth. But children and young people play differently to 30 years ago. (more…)