I'm fortunately enough to live in a house with a garden of a reasonable size. Until recently, however, I was very much of the opinion that it was not being fully used as a resource. I denied to make some changes to my own lifestyle and that of my family.
I realized that my kids simply were not spending very much time outdoors. That's not to suggest that they were hermit – it's just that they always seemed to want to disappear off to play computer games after school, rather than getting some fresh air. Did this concern me?
The truth is that I did not see it as a major worry until I started to hear about how many children were now being classified as being obese. It was clear to me that children who did not get enough exercise were obviously more likely to have health problems in later life.
I certainly did not like the thought of causing such problems for my kids – especially since it was something that I knew that I could deal with relatively easily.
When I initially started to suggest to my children that they should spend more time outdoors, they did not seem very interested. In fact, their initial reactions suggested that they thought that computers, games consoles and televisions were far more interesting.
I did not want to simply dictate a new set of rules – I wanted to show them that it could be a lot more fun to make use of the garden. Although things were starting slowly, I felt that I'd stuck gold once I hit upon the idea of buying a trampoline.
The kids immediately started to take an interest when it was arrived. As they offered to help me to put it together, I could immediately see that there was some real hope of getting to see them spending time using it. It's turned out to be a great investment and they now often shun their video games in favor of it.
This has been a real success and I've been able to build on it by introducing even more games – we've been making use of swings and slides, as well as flying a kite. I have to confess that I've also found it to be great fun – it's given us a set of activities that we can all enjoy as a family.
It's a great feeling to know that we're all keeping fit and also having fun. The changes to our lifestyle have helped to show us how much fun we can have from garden games. …