Sunday, 22 May 2016

Outdoor Play

It's been a while! I have found it impossible to find the time to blog, After a long day with two children i'm usually in bed by eight, arms round a baby, waiting to be woken up in a few hours.  I'm so happy that the warmer weather has made it's presence known.  I am totally on board with all year round outdoor play, but I have to admit to finding this a difficult task, this winter with a baby on board. 

There was a recent survey which found that three quarters of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates.  The poll shockingly concluded that a fifth of children did not play outside at all on an average day. The poll further claimed that children spent twice as long playing on screens as they did playing outside.  In the spirit of honesty, this winter, my daughter, at the tender age of three, has spent more time playing on a screen than she has done playing outside and this is something that I feel pretty uncomfortable about.  My daughter is a self declared summer girl.  She finds wearing lots of clothes very restricting, she often cries if she is caught out in the rain and, in winter, it takes all my effort and bribery powers to get her to come and play outside. I go to huge lengths to make sure she plays outside everyday but there were days, this winter, when, 15 minutes into the trip to the park, she would declare that she was freezing, and I would agree to head home rather than encourage a game.  Given the choice to sit and feed a baby on a park bench or to go back home, and get into bed, we have generally chosen the latter.  

I feel quite guilty about the amount of time my daughter has spent at a screen since the new baby arrived.  There have been days when it's been lovely, days when we have snuggled up in bed, all three of us, watching cartoons and having a cuddle.  But there have been days when it has felt too much and it's lost it's 'treat' element.  

As the warmer weather has arrived we have been enjoying spending longer outdoors trying to restore the balance! It's been great to get out and about, I have even been able to lay the baby out on the grass! Outdoor play has meant that the house is tidier and everyone's mood has been greatly uplifted. Mother Nature is a much nicer baby sitter than the iPad! And so, now that the baby is a little older, I'm on a mission to ditch the screens and frolic outside. 

These photos were taken on a recent (not so recent now! Bad blogger) day trip to Stoney Wish nature reserve. It was a day when the gods were on our side, Frieda played well on her own, the baby enjoyed lying on a blanket and life felt pretty perfect. 

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