Outdoor play and experiences are a vital part of our children’s development. Headlines about inactivity and rising obesity levels are raising the need for children to get out and about more.
All this is why the Cardiff Outdoor Activities Team (Coat) has joined up with the National Trust to deliver their scheme called ‘50 Things to do Before You Are 11 and ¾’.
The project aims to get children playing and exploring the outdoors and offers a number of activities that they can choose from in five areas known as Adventurer, Ranger, Discoverer, Tracker and Explorer.
Successful pilot sessions were held at Ogmore Beach which saw children partake in a number of activities including hunting for fossils, star gazing and cooking on a campfire, and also at Forest Fawr where children enjoyed climbing and exploring inside trees, tracking wild animals and catching falling leaves.
Kim Goodman, an assistant at Cardiff’s Children’s Play Services, has been involved in some of the pilot sessions.
“It is a brilliant scheme and a great way of getting children out and about and enjoying the great outdoors,” explains Kim, who has a seven-year-old daughter.
“ Cardiff Outdoor Activities Team provides a fully inclusive approach to outdoor activities. We work with children and young people aged five to 20, some of whom may have disabilities.
“We also work with the 18+ age group through a training and development programme that empowers staff and volunteers to assist or even lead activities of their own.
“The activities are driven by feedback and consultation with the children and young people.
“A lot of the children we work with come from disadvantaged areas and don’t always have access to the type of Cardiff Outdoor Activities on offer. Many of the children are amazed when we ask them to light a fire. It is about giving children the confidence and letting them have fun in a controlled environment. Letting them do things they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to be able to do.”
Cabinet member for sport, leisure and culture, Coun Ramesh Patel said: “Outdoor play and experiences are vital for children’s development and it is known that those who regularly spend time outside benefit from improved health, self esteem and mental well-being as well as the reduction of stress.
“The sessions provided by the Cardiff Outdoor Activities Team have been a great success and we aim to provide the project to over 200 children in the new year, working with play centres across the city and broadening the range of activities offered.”
Cardiff Outdoor Activities Team is able to provide the following activities:
- Mountain Biking
- Duke of Edinburgh – Bronze, Silver Gold
- Hill walking
- White water rafting
- Woodland skills
- Gorge walking
- Team building sessions
For more outdoor activities in cardiff follow this link Cardiff Outdoor Activities