Health officials in Ireland have launched a campaign to try and get children away from their computers and TV screens and playing outside.
Project Wild Network is a series of outdoor events and activities across Ireland. Almost 400 organisations, including Playgroups and the NHS will take part in the scheme.
The aim is to get all Irish people, including children, reconnected with nature. Bike rides, country walks and camping trips are some of the activities planned. The project has received praise from Irish parents and several thousand families have signed up.
Many parents face a daily battle to get their children off the PlayStation to go and play outside. With the leap forward in technology over the last ten years, children are no longer interested in traditional outdoors entertainment such as conkers or climbing trees.
Not when they can play with their friends from the comfort of their own bedrooms as they bark and bicker with each other through headphones on a live internet stream.
Video games now are so incredibly realistic and engrossing that the idea of ‘flying a kite’ or ‘climbing a tree’ is laughable to some children. Even when forced into participating in an outdoor activity, children see their time outdoors as a prison sentence that must be served before they can return to their haven of electronic entertainment.
Project Wild Network will attempt to change the attitudes of Irish children, by getting them active and showing them that outdoor activities can be just as much fun as staring at a TV screen and shooting zombies.