We had pretty great childhoods… We rode our bikes, we stayed out until the street lights came on, we climbed trees and we were allowed to let our little creative minds roam. We think about what our Grandkids are allowed to do these days and it is a very different picture. Most schools have designated playing areas, they aren’t allowed to do anything “risky” that could turn into an accident so they spend most of their time pretty stationary.
A university study is trying to determine whether or not this change in between generations is actually a cause of the obesity and bullying that is so common these days. A school, Swanson school in Auckland is participating in the study and their lunch time plays are replicating those that we once enjoyed.
They are riding scooters down stairs, climbing upside down on trees and building their own story huts from their imagination. The school’s principal believes that there are less injuries, less arguments and bullying between children and that kids are more focussed in the classroom as a result of this style of play.
The principal, Mr McLachlan told the Daily Mail, “We’ve seen a marked reduction in schoolyard injuries and instances of bullying. We’re seeing less kids with grazed knees and less kids going to the time out room. And with this in mind, we’ve gone from six teachers on the schoolyard to one or two. It’s very simple really: rather than telling kids what we can and can’t do, we turn a blind eye. We remove adults from the equation.”
So today tell us, do you think that kids should be allowed to enjoy childhoods like the ones we enjoyed? What was your childhood like? Did you have freedom to play and be creative? Tell us in the comments below…