The Outdoors Are Calling!

Class 5 students of The Green Acres Academy, Mumbai, are working on a group project to understand the problems children face from the lack of outdoor play. CECILIA D’SOUZA interviewed some of the students to learn more about their research and experiences.

February 16, 2022

Tashvi Dave, Group Leader

Since the pandemic started, which is almost two years ago, we haven’t been able to play outdoors and have been addicted to televisions, mobiles, tablets and laptops. Sadly, we don’t realise how this is affecting us. Games like lagori and lock-and-key help us stay fit. But when we sit indoors all the time and play video games, all we are doing is exercising our thumbs and that can do more damage than good.

Also, when we play video games, we are playing with a machine that can make us feel lonely, which is not good for our mental health. Outdoor games help strengthen the bones, create self-awareness, improve peer-to-peer relationships and can shape one’s personality. Playing outdoors not only helps us improve our overall health, but also allows us to spend quality time with our friends and release pent-up energy.

Playing indoors and smashing buttons all day damages our vision and can be harmful to our health, mentally and physically. We don’t get any fresh air! And we are so engrossed in video games that we end up paying less attention to what is happening around us.

Mishka Jain

There are many ways in which our generation is different from our parents’ generations, but one of the most obvious contrasts is the degree of time we spend indoors! Playing outdoor games has become a historical fact for us kids. We hear stories of how our parents played all these amazing games in their childhood and I would like to enjoy the outdoors the same way as these games help us develop emotionally, physically and mentally.

Roniel Kotak

A lack of exposure to outdoor games can cause physical, mental and emotional issues in life. Playing outdoors, in groups, helps us learn the art of coping with emotions related to winning and losing. I have seen many children not being able to share their toys, and if they lose in a game, they become extremely angry. Over the last two years, many of us have got addicted to watching television or the mobile, which is indeed harmful. When we were in a full lockdown, I too had got addicted to my mobile and iPad and when my parents would ask me to stay away from technology, I would get angry. But once our society allowed kids to play in the podium and garden, I realised what I was missing. I started to feel fresh and energetic again. That’s when I realised the importance of outdoor games.

Priyaan Chheda

Today, when we are locked indoors, I realise that playing outdoor games will always be a blessing. I miss the joy and excitement, which I used to get from playing games like cricket, lagori, tennis, table tennis and badminton. I used to play all these games before the COVID-19 virus entered our life. I miss the joy that games used to generate.

Saisha Nair

Do you ever wonder where games come from? Why are games like cricket, football and many more played? As we all know, we are all being asked to stay indoors because of COVID-19 and because of the lockdown protocols, we have to stay home and play video games instead of games like lock-and-key, and that is not right. It’s important to get some fresh air, collaborate and have fun! It’s important to play games because it keeps us fit and fine. I was sad when the lockdown started as I couldn’t go to play with my friends. I got bored. Earlier, when I would feel sad, I would go down and play with my friends. But now I can only stay at home.

Avni Singh
Class 6, Podar World School, Sama, Vadodara

Swimming has been a part of my life since I was four. I spent three hours a day dedicated to swimming, but since the lockdown, I found myself free. Although I exercised at home, I felt the results were not as satisfactory. My strength and speed had decreased significantly. Once, when I was feeling particularly low, my mother showed me a documentary about athletes who had trained for years for the Olympics but couldn’t participate as the Games themselves were postponed. Somehow, this lifted my spirits and I managed to endure the lockdown

A Game You Must Try: Lagori

Lagori is played on open grounds. It’s a game between two teams, with a maximum of nine players on each team. You need seven flat stones arranged in a tower and a small ball to play the game. To start the game, the teams need to decide who will play first. The first team to play tries to break the tower of seven stones and once the tower is broken, the players need to run. Players from the opposing team will try and hit them with the ball, meanwhile, members of the team that had broken the tower also need to try and assemble it again. As soon as they assemble the tower of seven stones again, they need to shout, “Lagori!” If even one member of the team is hit by the ball, the team loses and the other team gets a chance to break and then rebuild the tower of seven stones.

REFLECTION: Right to Play

List any 5 outdoor sports you love playing.

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