This week in play news

20 July 2016


What’s happening in the world of play this week? We’ve summarised the highlights of this week’s news related to all things outdoor play and learning, children’s health and education.

Tips and tricks for teachers: how outdoor learning boosts student wellbeing

Experts from The Guardian explain what can be gained from learning in the great outdoors, and how to experiment with nature in schools. A live chat carried out by the newspaper panel highlighted the many reasons why getting out of the classroom should be a priority and showed many reasons why outdoor learning can support teachers to meet all the demands they face in a student-friendly way. 

UK junk food ban is ‘abandoned’

A leaked draft of the British government’s latest proposals to tackle child obesity in the UK has dropped earlier ideas for bans on ads of unhealthy food before the 9pm TV watershed and the placement of unhealthy food items near the checkout counters in all shops. These watered down proposals to curb the marketing of junk food has come to a shock to those campaigning to combat childhood obesity. 

The playgrounds that would give ‘elf and safety’ a heart attack

An exhibition at Gateshead’s Baltic gallery showcases children’s play areas from a bygone age that put the risk back in to frisky. The exhibit celebrates the radical playgrounds designed by mid-10th century visionaries who wanted children to take risks away from mum or dad’s overprotective gaze. The project has been created to be a nostalgic reminder of how it used to be but also as a rallying call to examine society’s approach to risk.

Who is Justine Greening? Six facts about the new education secretary

Justine Greening, the new education secretary, is moving to the Department for Education from the Department for International Development. She breaks the mould of the role and has come in with a bigger brief than her predecessor. She now has to oversee the introduction of the new national funding formula and ensure its successful implementation. 

Cotton wool parenting means outdoor play is in decline

New research by Sudocrem, which surveyed 2000 UK parents, found that 62% think that parents today are more over-protective of their children than previous generations. The number of children who participate in outdoor play has been dramatically decreasing over the last four decades. Children of this generation spend less than 5 hours playing outside per week, in comparison with 11 hours per week for their parents’ generation.

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