It is adults who need teaching

Free range children? might have been the headline, instead it was '£340,000 to teach children to play', which had no relation to the article that followed or the

Free range children? might have been the headline, instead it was '£340,000 to teach children to play', which had no relation to the article that followed or the project it described.I set up the first play ranger project in Bath in 2001 to enable children do what they should be able to do in any healthy society, play safely with their friends in parks and public spaces. The North Somerset Play Rangers will, I'm sure, provide the two things children have a right to expect from the adult world, a safe place to play and things that are good to play with.The play rangers would not need to teach children how to play, children are born with the instinct to play, it is adults who need teaching to give them the times and places to do it. Children have not changed, but childhood has. Many children no longer have anything like the range of play experiences their parents took for granted. Recent studies show that children today are not allowed to play away from their homes, are scared of public places and protected from any risk or challenge. The effects of this can be seen in rising levels of obesity, hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder.The tone of your headline, worded to provoke a negative reaction, could easily jeopardise a much needed project, which has not yet gone to councillors for decision making. The public interest would be much better served if the Mercury explored the effect play deprivation is having on this generation of children and asking do we really want children reared in captivity or free range children?MICHAEL FOLLETT - North SomersetEDITOR'S NOTE: We are sorry you feel our article was negative, but we refute your claim. It was simply a factual report on a planned initiative. It did not carry any quotes and made it quite clear that the money would come from the National Lottery, so we are at somewhat of a loss to understand what you are complaining about.


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