22nd September 2010

Mission:Explore – Love Outdoor Play


Daniel Raven- Ellison  tells us more about Mission:Explore – Love Outdoor Play.

Would you or your business be interested in helping to create places for children to play?

Our GeoVation is Mission:Explore, a project to write and share thousands of missions for (young) people to complete all over the world. The purpose of Mission:Explore is to help young people learn about and see the world in new ways. Geography is at the heart of the project not just in terms of children thinking about the world but also because we hope the missions will help to extended the limits in which children are allowed to play.

paper boat.1Love Outdoor Play is a sister project in which we are building an alliance of individuals, charities, businesses and associations in order to create visible communities of support for outdoor play. Here’s the manifesto:

“Having the freedom to play outdoors improves the well-being of children and their communities. Together, we are building a visible community to support reasonably safe exploration, adventure and play. Wherever you see a Love Outdoor Play sticker or symbol, you’ll find people who welcome play and are looking out for young people.”

“We are asking people to take a very simple action. Make or get a Love Outdoor Play sticker and put it up where you live or work. Research shows that in many communities we’re afraid of what other parents will think of us if we let our kids out to play or walk to school. By putting a sticker up you not only show that you support outdoor play but can start a conversation about how play can be improved for children where you live” explains Daniel Raven-Ellison, one of Love Outdoor Play’s organisers.

Transparent-design-2-10x10The Love Outdoor Play symbol is available under a creative commons non-commercial share-alike license. As long as you are not making a profit from the symbol and credit Love Outdoor Play anyone can use the symbol.

Since launching we have gained a large number of supporters including Lenore Skenazy (Free Range Kids), Tim Gill (No Fear: Growing Up in a Risk Averse Society), Sue Atkins (Raising Happy Children for Dummies), Sue Palmer (Toxic Childhood), Nicola Baird (Homemade Kids), Bethe Almeras (Grass Stain Guru) have come together with explorers Benedict Allen, Olly Steeds, Jake Meyer, Alistair Humphreys and Bonita Norris in an effort to get more children playing outdoors again. The campaign is also supported by Play Scotland, Play England, the Campaign for Adventure, Digi Mums, Play Association Tower Hamlets, Institute of Outdoor Learning, Alliance for Childhood and the Association of Play Industries. A full list of supporters can be found at www.loveoutdoorplay.net.

Love Outdoor Play dovetails naturally into our work with setting challenges for children to do, not least the location specific activities on the GeoVation supported Mission:Explore app and website. If children are to go and complete missions they need to have the support of their community to do so.

Anyone can join the Love Outdoor Play campaign. We are especially keen to find a corporate supporter that is willing to help pay for a print run of campaign stickers. If this sounds of interest please do get in contact with us at LoveOutdoorPlay@TheGeographyCollective.co.uk.