When I was about eight or nine, I spent my summers playing on my bike, roaming freely outdoors with my childhood friends, playing imaginary games, rolling down hills, horse riding, examining bugs and looking after frogspawn. I thought the summer would never end and every day I left home in the morning for my friends’ house to see what adventure we were to embark on that day.
The National Trust has a campaign, ’50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4.’ It was launched after a report found that fewer than one in ten children play in wild places.
Someone said to me recently that teaching is about repeating concepts until they go in. So it is worth repeating that when I speak about camping, the seaside, it’s because for creative writing you need great imagination or experience – preferably both so that you can describe with all the senses and transport your reader.
Some of my children have never seen a farm animal, some parents worry about letting them climb a tree. But these experiences are a rite of passage, they shape who you will become and they instil confidence, risk taking and curiosity in your child.
So come on. Go outside. Adventurer or Explorer, which will you be?
(Picture courtesy of Li Wubin)