A new report, 'Climbing Trees: Getting Aussie Kids Back Outdoors', released today by Planet Ark, reveals that only 1 in 5 kids climb trees. Whereas, 64% or their parents enjoyed doing so.
I can't even comprehend a childhood without climbing trees? I have vivid and fond memories of climbing trees when I was young (including one that involved a broken arm).
The report also revealed that the majority of today's parents played outdoors more often than indoors when they were young, whereas for today's children, by far the majority play indoors more than out. To be honest, I think Little Eco probably plays indoors more than outdoors at the moment.
I'm totally failing my new years resolution to facilitate unstructured outdoor play for Little Eco. In that original post I identified four tools to help me:
I'm failing miserably on all counts, except the natural playground (although we have only finished 1/3 of the space). We've only been camping once this year, our home is well and truly NOT screen free at the moment (although we do aim for every second day screen free), and our Green Hour was abandoned when I started working full-time. On week-days, we only manage to get outdoors as a family after dark (hence the blury picture above - night-time tree climbing).
Hopefully I can improve the situation over the next six months. I'm sure I'll get a few tips on encouraging outdoor play at next months Expo For Childhood. I've shared a list of relevant workshops (including one by me on Gardening with Children) over at the Hunter Alliance for Childhood website if you are interested.