When you look back to your childhood memories, what do you see? That amazing family holiday to the seaside where all you did was build sandcastles and play bat and ball? The sunny winter days making up stories in your head as you wander along the tree line in the woods? Or do you remember sitting at home with all of your family on their phones?
According to the Guardian, three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates, with a fifth of the children not playing outside at all on an average day, the poll found.
A poll of parents show they felt that their children had fewer opportunities to play outside than they did when they were young. In addition to this, childhood obesity is at an all-time high, with serious links to the development of cancer, and last year the government published a paper citing nearly 1/3 children are obese or overweight in the UK.
Furthermore, school interventions are not the most effective way to change a lifetime of behaviours. Instead, researchers suggests a much wider local and national action is needed such as increased physical activity.
So, we introduce Place2Play. An innovative, free, pop-up play programme to move families away from the screens and into their local parks. The benefits of family playtime outdoors are numerous:
• It prompts and increases communication: family playtime can be a great opportunity to encourage conversation and have a catch up about school, friends and how they are feeling.
• Engenders healthy practices: once it becomes part of the family routine, regular playtime can increase physical, mental and emotional development together, strengthening the family bond
• Building memories together: by exploring outside areas, the practise assessing risk, solving problems and developing their creativity. These skills, and memories, will endure when experienced with the whole family.
Place2Play aims to:
- Bring 500 families together in 15 parks located in economically underserved areas across 5 London boroughs
- Teach new skills through local park challenges and online resources
- Help the community bond through outdoor activity
If we can teach parents and carers to play fun, adapted sports games with their children, then we hope to spark a lifetime of healthy activity.
We are looking for community support to run this inspirational programme. As little as a £2 donation can help us reach our target of £23,000 and help get families back into the parks, playing together.
To pledge, please visit our Spacehive Place2Play crowdfunding page
Ulick Tarabanov FRSA is the Chief Executive of London Sports Trust
This project is being hosted by our Crowdfunding partner Spacehive, and has already achieved 65% of its target. If you would like to find out more, join our online Crowdfunding Workshop on 19th April.