Children need more self-directed play outdoors

February 23, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

On February 22, 2016, the Toronto Star included an article by Andrea Gordon titled Kids tell protective parents: We’re not fragile parents. “The pushback against helicopter parents has been growing among psychologists and researchers. But the message has special clout coming from kids themselves, who are members of the project’s’ youth advisory panel” (p A1).

The project is called Child Health 2.0 at Queen’s University and gives  students (Grade 7-10) the opportunity to have a voice about their own health. From their webpage ” Child health 2.0 focuses on asking kids about their own health in the modern age (engaging children), figuring out how families can be supported to enhance child health (supporting families) and discovering or rediscovering notions of health that help us capture and build it as a holistic concept.”

“In December of 2014, the Youth Advisory Group met for the second time and began talking about the issue of overprotection and safe risk. Many of the youth had stories to tell about the issue and they were eager to learn more. They explored the issue through a variety of means including reading and reflecting on recent news articles, interviewing experts, commenting on current research, and experimenting with how to take safe risks through the use of a high ropes course.” Click here to see a 7-minute Overprotection and Self Risk documentary, plus an infographic on their journey as a committee – a timeline graphic . Their conclusion?  Children need more self-directed play outdoors.

Check ’em out!


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