I am sure I look back on my own childhood through very rose-tinted glasses, but I do have some great memories of school summer holidays spent roaming around in friend’s gardens, going for endless bike rides, paddling in streams and generally being outside.
Perhaps everyone is on a beach somewhere and forgot to invite me, but the streets around where I live are deserted – and it’s actually sunny this week. Where are all the kids, I ask myself?
It would seem that the school summer holidays are now almost more organised than term time with summer camps and activity days shoe-horned into every possible moment of the week. Perhaps that’s where all the kids are; learning how to make things with tissue paper or navigating obstacle courses.
Maybe it is simply a sign of the times we live in that parents simply aren’t able to let their kids wander around or play outside unsupervised and I was astounded to read some research last week which highlighted that an alarming number of children have never made a daisy chain, rolled down a hill, climbed a tree, played hopscotch or even ridden a bike. Surely these things are a rite of passage as a kid – or are these things becoming as strange as images we see of Victorian children playing with a hoop or a spinning top in the street as our children trade simple, childhood games for social networking and virtual games?
I hope not and I, for one, am going to be making a definite effort to go outside this summer -starting now. I’ll be the parent with a daisy-chain on my head at the top of a very large tree!