Do you remember playing out on the streets when you were a kid? We used to play out until dark. I don’t remember all of our games, but I know they didn’t involve any adults and they were a lot of fun! In fact it was a neighborhood kid who taught me how to ride a two wheeler bike. Were neighborhoods safer than they are now? Statistics would say they are even safer now than they’ve ever been, yet they feel more dangerous – increasingly neighbors don’t know each other, kids don’t know each other. It’s rare to see groups of children playing out on the street, or neighbors shooting the breeze over a cup tea. What happened?
Well, we know we have a culture of fear. Kids are rarely permitted to play out alone. Home improvements tend to focus on back yards, behind high fences or indoor playrooms. The media constantly tells us that children are using screens ‘too much’. How much is too much could be debated at length, but what I do know is that if we want to get kids outside more, outside has to be more appealing. It has to proximally close, going to the park is fun, but not always easy and immediate. It has to be social – the back yard is great, but there may not be other kids there. And it has to be exciting – let’s face it, most neighborhoods today are set up for cars and privacy, how much fun is there really out on the street?
But we can make our communities amazing, vibrant, welcoming places for kids again. And I believe that Guildford is the perfect community for this.
I’m interested in making my front yard a place where not only my daughter plays, but in which children in the neighborhood are welcome to play too. If others were keen to do this, we could have community of front yards where children can play freely and enjoy each others company.
Maybe you have a fantastic driveway for scooters and bikes, or a trampoline, or a great patch of grass you could chuck some toys out on. A chalk board out the front or a swing in your tree? A bench in the front yard for parents to sit, meet each other, chat and watch the kids play? Could a cubby go out the front rather than in the back yard?
If you are interested being part of an action group that creates a vibrant community for our children to play out, as we did when we were young, then please get in touch.
Contact Lianda on 0411 066 595 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I played a lot of cricket with neighbourhod friendson the side roads near Sepping swamp at Middleton Beach. Great times learnt to accept being given out and to share the fielding, batting and bowling. Went to the beach with friens unattended and walked and run miles to and from Emu Point and fished off the rocks at spots between Middleton beach and the entry to Princess Royal Habour with famliy and friends. Wonderful times that taught me how to act in and enjoy nature, meet and learning from fishmen and bush walkers. Learnt how to recover fishing tackle, and to be aware of the dangers associated with rock fishing and King Waves. Let kids have fun and mature in the real world. Its great that my Grandkids are given these opportuntiues by their parents and they are great kids because of their parnets having confidence in them..
Sounds like a brilliant childhood John. I hope we can reclaim some of this trust and freedom for the next generation!
Great idea lianda if I lived in Guildford I would be part of this. Wishing u the best and let me know how It goes!