Playtime in the Summer

It’s National Playday, a day that promotes the benefits of outdoor play for children, and this year it is highlighting places across the UK that are great for kids.

I love the summer weather and this year it has been exceptional and provided a great opportunity to get those kids outdoors!

At age 9 and 7, my oldest two are making the most of the holidays.  They are out from morning to early evening, only returning home when their rumbling tummies dictate.  This really is the the ultimate freedom for any child – playtime!

Kicking balls, climbing trees, hide and seek with the neighbours, a play in the local park, racing scooters and bikes – there is a whole world to explore until teatime.

Kids develop such important life skills when they are out playing unsupervised by adults.  They learn conflict resolution. They learn to work as a team. Then of course there are the obvious health benefits.

There are always some worries as a parent: traffic, bullying and stranger danger.  But at some stage you have to let go and give them the responsibility and it is amazing to see them grow when given that little bit of responsibility.

I have recently let my two boys start walking to school together without mum.  It is a 30 minute walk with some busy roads, however they both rise to the responsibility and behave so well and are so careful because they are aware that walking without mum is a privilege that could be revoked if I hear any untoward reports.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky minority living in a seaside town in the North-east of Scotland where we know our neighbours and know that if the boys misbehave en route to school or at the local park it will soon get back to me!

To be honest would I be so keen to let my kids run free in a city park while I sit at home? Probably not!  So what is the answer, what do you do to give your kids a little freedom?