Kevin Jenkins Community Links encourages children to play outdoors


- Credit: Archant

At last the tide appears to be changing and the need for children to be able to access and experience challenging and risky activities is becoming increasingly recognised and advocated across the board from parents, relevant professionals and by children themselves.

For a long time now the need to keep children wrapped up in cotton wool school of thought has prevailed and the resultant opportunities for children to participate in adventure play, outdoor activities, residential experiences and the great outdoors generally had reduced to an all-time low. Actually such adventurous activities carried out within a properly risk-assessed environment with appropriate guidance and support are more safe than many other games, sports and pastimes that children are involved with daily.

Such experiences give so much to the child including opportunities to build their self-confidence and self-esteem, to develop their relationship and team building skills and to learn new skills which are transferable to all aspects of their future lives. Additionally all the experiences are great fun to be involved in.

Thankfully, organisations are beginning to redress the balance and providing opportunities for children to go outdoors and take part in new challenges.

The National Trust’s “50 things to do before you are 11¾” is open to every child to sign up and get involved.

Challenges include tracking a wild animal, building a den, rolling down a really big hill, climbing a tree and flying a kite.

Locally the Community Links Brede Arkless Outdoors in the City centre is organising a whole number of new weekly activity clubs based around various themes including camping, climbing, cycling, multi-activities and, of course, “50 things to do...”

Further details at

Let’s begin to inspire our children to get out of doors and into the great outdoors this summer. More from Kevin Jenkins.