September 6, 2012
KIDS PLAYING OUTDOORS: So everybody seems to agree that kids need to play outdoors more, but there’s no clear path to getting that to happen. Media fearmongering, and the desire of parents not to look like they aren’t taking care of their kids, have reached the point that a friend actually got calls from his neighbors recently to tell him that his mid-elementary-school aged kids were playing outdoors, with no adult supervision.
So how do you change the dynamic? My thought was to make unsupervised outdoor play a matter of upper middle class female status competition. But how? His suggestion: Have tony prep schools and colleges ask about how much unsupervised outdoor playtime the applicants had. “We don’t want to hear about the obstacle course you built for underprivileged kids; we want to hear about the treehouse you built for yourself, or the games of tag you played with neighbor kids.” Voila — instant change.
Hey, it might just work. . . .