Column contributed by Eleanor Campbell, Cumbernauld YMCA
‘For me there’s nothing nicer than the sound of children at play on a warm summer’s day. Think back to your own childhood, you will probably remember setting off with a sandwich and a bottle of water to the park or woods, returning hours later after a day playing without adult supervision. How things have changed, parent fears, and a risk averse culture mean today’s children are denied the freedoms we experienced growing up. Sadly, some adults even view children playing in the street as an irritation. The YMCA offers a range of children’s programmes and when we asked children what they liked best, playing outdoors came top of the list every time. Our outdoor PlaYzone in Kildrum has been developed to give children a sense of the freedoms we took for granted albeit in safe secure surroundings. Our new Street Play programme, funded by Inspiring Scotland, will also support children to play safely outdoors. The PlaYzone will be open every day of the holidays including Saturdays and Sundays. Day camps; mini camps; fun clubs and street play will provide a variety of outdoor play opportunities, giving children what they want, all summer long.