25th August 2010

Mission:Explore – love outdoor play

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Mission:Explore, one of last year’s GeoVation Challenge winners, are launching a new campaign aimed at encouraging communites to ‘Love Outdoor Play’. Below Daniel Raven- Ellison  tells us more about it.

Help us to bring play back onto our streets

GeoVation and Ordnance Survey have been giving us a wide range of support with Mission:Explore which encourages children to explore and think about the world in new ways while tackling risk aversion. We are still developing Mission:Explore but have recently started working on a sister project and campaign: Love Outdoor Play. 

play-out-header“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, you’ll find people who welcome play and are looking out for young people.”

This is the manifesto of an umbrella campaign that we are preparing to launch this no-ball-gamesSeptember. The problems of risk aversion and children not being allowed to play outdoors enough are well documented and it’s time to improve the situation.

The Love Outdoor Play campaign is a simple idea. For communities to visually show that they welcome play. Partially inspired by the work of Playborhood in the United States we will shortly be sharing our design for static-stickers that can be put in windows.

Why a sticker? Earlier this month Play England released research they had carried out in support of their annual Playday. Among other things they found that:

“47% of adults think it is unsafe for children to play out without supervision, and that 1 in 3 (37%) parents are concerned they will be judged by their neighbours if they let their children play out unsupervised. Over a quarter of children (28%) say that, when they are playing, adults tend to think they’re up to no good and more than half LPO-Large-square-500(55%) of parents worry that the noise of their children playing outside will upset their neighbours. In reality 81% of adults believe children playing outside helps to improve community spirit. 70% think that it makes an area more desirable to live in.”

Love Outdoor Play stickers will help to tackle many of these issues by shaping conversations and visibly showing support for reasonably safe play, adventures and explorations. The stickers will symbolise:

  • Understanding of the importance of outdoor play for the well-being of individual’s and communities
  • Communities that welcome outdoor play
  • Freedom and independence for young people to learn and have fun
  • Responsibility within communities to care and look out for one another

If you agree with the manifesto and support these aims we would love to have you as a campaign partner/supporter.

Current supporters include Lenore Skenazy who wrote Free Range Kids , Sue Atkins the author of Raising Happy Children for Dummies and Sue Palmer who wrote the widely supported Toxic Childhood who has said of the campaign is an “excellent initiative. The decline of outdoor play mirrors a decline in trust in our communities — we urgently need to regain both, and Love Outdoor Play stickers provide a simple starting point.”

cross-a-woodIf you have a blog or website we will be delighted to link to you at launch. If you run any kind of an organisation and have a logo we will happily add this with a link into our supporters page.

We are also keen to find sponsors who can fund a print run of stickers to be distributed for free or at lost cost.

Together we can (re)create places for play outdoors.

To have your details added to the Love Outdoor Play website ahead of the launch please email LoveOutdoorPlay@thegeographycollective.co.uk or visit loveoutdoorplay