There was a time when kids used to bunk their classes to just go out and play games like cricket, football amongst many other. At that time, it was impossible to stop kids from going out and keep them home but today kids just do not want to get out and play with their peers. Time for outdoor play is diminishing by the hour, leading to the appearance of much sedentary lifestyles, absolutely disconnected from the natural world in self defined indoor silos.
It is very important for a kid to play outside amidst nature as it helps them engage in higher levels of creativity, imagination, inventiveness, physical activity, language, and curiosity. Most importantly, they get an opportunity to play freely.
There are many factors that increase the lack of interest in outdoor play.
The increase in structured play activities, an emergence of technology-based play objects, higher concerns related to safety and risk of kids, adult control over children’s play activities, academically oriented schools and no encouragement given to outdoor games. Moreover, we see children involved in structured sports activities or stuck with gaming systems and smart phones. Parents today control the activities of kids. In urban cities, when kids are to head out, we often hear parent's scolding their kids “don’t pick up the sticks!”, “Don’t go too far!” and “be careful!”
Today’s society has an unsaid disregard for the value of outdoor play. And these factors are placing a barrier between children and their right to play freely in the outdoors.
This must change. We need to change this!
Education isn’t just about empowerment through knowledge. Parents, educators and other responsible organizations should together, guide and train the hearts, minds and abilities of children.
Another worthy effort in this direction is Jagran Sanskarshala, which prepares morally aligned, more aware, responsible & confident young citizens of tomorrow.