New Forest Play Network
New Forest Play Network - promoting play in the New Forest
Top Tips for Winter Wild Time
After a mellow autumn, we are now in mitten and cold nose territory. The chilly weather makes the sofa and telly increasingly attractive, meanwhile coughs and colds and dark afternoons also conspire to keep us stuck indoors. It can seem like the odds are stacked against being an active, outdoors family. Sometimes, you just need a little inspiration to get you back to nature. To turn the challenges of the season into exciting opportunities please visit The Wild Network.
Play has a large part to contribute to a quality lifestyle particularly within children.
Study after study shows that time spent outdoors in nature increases the health and well being of children. However time playing outside has dropped by 50% in just one generation and a recent survey showed that only one in five children aged 8-12 years has a connection with nature.
Research shows that there are many benefits to children having the time and space to play. These include:
- Being physically active
- Improving and maintaining physical and mental health
- Increasing their self awareness, self-esteem, self-respect and confidence
- Having the freedom to choose what they want to do whilst promoting imagination, creativity and independence
- Socialise with friends, and mix with children from all backgrounds whilst developing social skills
- Build resilience through risk taking, problem solving and learning how to deal with new situations
There are wider benefits for communities of healthier and happier children.
So let's help the children and get outdoors. Enjoy the beautiful forest that we live in and the green spaces around it.
New Forest District Council work in partnership with the Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust, Bournemouth Water and Wessex Water to provide Wild Days Out at the Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve for children aged 5 to 12 years during the school holidays.
Project Wild Thing is a movement to get more children playing freely outside and reconnecting with the natural world around them. To find out more about Project Wild Thing please visit The Wild Network.
For ideas of what to do with children check out the links below.
Other useful links:
Blashford Lakes Wild Days Out.
GOV.UK - Children and nurseries.
INQ - New Forest Youth Website.
IP-DIP - A magazine for playwork professionals.
New Forest Health and Leisure for Kids.
Out of school childcare - Family Information Directory.
Play England - Play Today Magazine.