A wild time for children 兒童的戶外玩耍時間

更新時間 2013年 12月 30日, 星期一 - 格林尼治標準時間12:10

Simple pleasures: making shadows in the forest

Vocabulary: playing 詞匯: 玩耍

What do you remember about your childhood? I have good memories of exploring the fields near my house and riding my bike around the park. Most of my free time, it seemed, was spent outdoors.

Today, we are told, children don't spend enough time in the fresh air. Many of them are glued to a screen either on a computer, tablet or a TV – they seem to be living in a virtual world. They have lost touch with nature.

But now 400 organisations in the UK, from playgroups to the National Health Service, are encouraging children to have some 'wild time'. They want kids to swap at least 30 minutes of watching TV or playing computer games for time mucking about outside.

I think it's a great idea. The simple pleasures of exploring and discovering nature help children to learn and keep fit too. Andy Simpson, who is part of the campaign, says: "An extra 30 minutes of wild time every day for all under 12-year-olds in the UK would be the equivalent of just three months of their childhood spent outdoors."

There is so much to do outdoors that I don't think 30 minutes a day is enough. Activities such as building dens, climbing trees, rummaging for conkers and playing hide and seek are just some of the things kids can do. Even if they live in a city, they can go on adventures in the garden or the park.

But I know that children often need a helping hand from mum and dad. They need to be shown what to do and where to go. Andy Simpson agrees: "We want parents to see what this magical wonder product does for their kids' development, independence and creativity, by giving wild time a go".

So despite the sophisticated world that young people grow up in now, it seems that going back to basics and experiencing 'nature's playground' is what modern children need. David Bond from Project Wild Thing says "we need to make more space for wild time in children's daily routine, freeing this generation of kids to have the sort of experiences that many of us took for granted".

This might sound a bit old fashioned to you or maybe, like me, it's made you think about sticking on your boots, getting outdoors and reliving your childhood. There's no age limit on enjoying yourself!

Quiz 測驗

1. According to this article, what are many children glued to?

Computers, tablets or TVs.

2. True or false? Children only need to play outside for 30 minutes a week.

False. Campaigners think children need at least 30 minutes wild time every day.

3. Who needs to help children get outside and discover nature?

Mum and dad.

4. What does the author say modern children should experience?

Nature's playground.

5. What age do you stop enjoying yourself?

There is no age limit - you are never too old to enjoy yourself.

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