Grass and mud or grazes and tears?

LAWRENCE MURPHY: A worthy alternative to roasties?

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hen did we stop letting children be children?

A primary school in West Sussex made headlines recently when it planned to replace its grass playground with asphalt.

Why would they do such a thing I hear you ask? Why replace this natural, green lawn with the dark and ugly-looking asphalt?

Well here is the answer and be prepared to let out a laugh when you read the next sentence.

It’s because the children are getting too muddy on the grass.

What a terrible crime. How dare a child get muddy.

Apparently the play area is used by pupils between the ages of four to six and it is closed off when it rains because of safety concerns.

So to fix this so-called problem, the school has applied for funding to have asphalt put down in its place and it would mean the children would no longer have a grassed area to play on.

What a crazy idea.

I’m a parent of two young daughters and given a choice between them playing, running around and doing cartwheels etc on a grassy area or on a hard asphalt surface, the green stuff would win every single time without fail.

As any parent of young children will tell you, trips and falls are common and as one grazed knee disappears, another will appear.

The big enemy when it comes to a fall is concrete and asphalt.

As soon as a child loses their balance and they topple forward it is inevitable that those knees will make contact with the ground and a graze or cut will appear.

Whereas if that fall took place on a grassy surface, you’d be left with two green, possibly muddy, but un-grazed knees.

As a parent I’d choose a grassy, muddy play area over a hard ugly surface any day and I’m sure most children would too.

Soon they’ll be grown-ups and to get muddy will involve an expensive treatment at a health farm.

So please let’s just let children be children.

There have been other crazy ideas and rules I’ve read about in news-
papers recently, such as the school that has banned children from running in case they trip.

And another, although this time in America, banned children from hugging each other after incidents of ‘unsuitable interactions’.

No one goes through their childhood without getting hurt. I think we should be promoting confidence, not fear.

It’s time to stop wrapping our children in cotton wool and let them enjoy their childhoods.

Let them roll in mud – just make sure you stock up on washing powder first.