The Importance of Play, Poodles and Picnic

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Play, Poodles and Picnic? No we haven’t gone completely bonkers! But half term is coming towards an end and we thought we’d make a final suggestion on what to do with the kids; Nothing! Except taking them outdoors.

Free and imaginative play in general is a critical part of the child’s learning and development. Active outdoor play supports children’s physical development. In particular free play is the best, when all the muscle groups are engaged, and this whole-body movement helps all the varied regions of the brain to be actioned.

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Much research has been done, observing children’s play in both natural spaces, and in designed playgrounds and constructed play spaces. And without doubt, the studies show that children engage in more creative play in green, open and wild areas than in built spaces. It doesn’t have to be more fancy than your garden. But objects like loose stones, insects, small water streams etc are all valuable parts of outdoor imaginative play.

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The science behind free play and why parents must give children the chance to choose the pastimes they’re interested in, is explained by Dr David Whitebread in the Telegraph. British culture is currently quite risk-averse with children being heavily supervised. In the more rural and thinly populated Scandinavian countries children are far less closely supervised and much more encouraged to play outdoors and in natural surroundings. Studies show that play in the outdoors and in natural environments fosters independent, happy and content children.

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What is typical for Scandinavian design for kids is to make room for play and creativity. British / Swedish Indikidual is a London based brand that recognises the importance of outdoor play and making it possible even in urban areas. To inspire their collections are all evolving around the free spirited child. The designer Syreeta explains:

“The Indikidual SS15 ‘Poodles and Picnic’ are inspired by having a picnic in the park on a hot summer day… Ants have invaded the picnic blanket and a naughty poodle has run off with our bananas but we don’t care. Lets go fly a kite instead!”

Designed with kids in mind the collection is comfortable and practical as well as in a playful design. Made for the little outdoor explorer and adventurer.

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And last but not least,
consider the good nights sleep that awaits after a full day spent roaming in fresh air, sun and wind…

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© all pictures in this post belongs to Indikidual

Every summer we go to Norway and we’ll stay in a country place, far away from busy roads, tall buildings and artificial playgrounds. The children escape straight after breakfast and we don’t see them again until we call them in for lunch – unless we bring a picnic to them!
Experiencing these two completely different worlds side by side I do appreciate that in London (or any city) parents must go to extra lengths and make quite an effort to offer their children the same opportunity for outdoor play. But it’s worth it! Make a nearby park your local hang out. Gather with other families that have the same idea about the importance of spending time outdoors. Use the weekends to escape London, to go for walks over hills, down valleys and in the deepest of forests. Then plan a holiday going camping!

Just make sure, you are close, but not to close to allow the free play to happen.

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