Bradford parents lead winter outdoor play campaign to support families

JU:MP (Join Us: Move. Play), supported by Magpie’s social marketing, have launched a winter campaign ‘JU:MP Outdoors’ to promote positive experiences of families playing outdoors, whatever the weather. 

JU:MP Outdoors has been specially co-created with local families and features a range of outdoor visuals. The visuals feature children and their parents in places around Bradford, where families can play for free, showing that now more than ever #OutdoorPlayMatters.

Hina and Asif, parents of three-year-old Eemaan were delighted to take part in the campaign, Hina said: “We absolutely love being outdoors and playing with Eemaan, whether that’s in the park, in the garden or on the street. She gets so much pleasure playing out in the fresh air and she definitely sleeps better afterwards which is great for everybody!”

Asif agreed: “I think it’s really important right now for people to feel connected to one another – it’s a strange time. The visuals are a lovely reminder that when you’re outdoors seeing other children and their families together playing, laughing and chatting, you forget about the virus for a short time, things seem almost normal again.

“Connecting with nature and experiencing the benefits of play and physical activity lift your mood and seeing others doing the same reminds us of our natural connection to one another in the wider world. I don’t think that ever changes, which to be honest, brings me a lot of comfort no matter what is thrown at us.”

Ruhi, mum to Suhaan (11), Salman (10), Mahnoor (8) and Manha (4), regularly spends time outdoors with her children: “We love just grabbing the football and taking it to the park for a kick about. The kids are all different ages, so we always make sure we take something for everyone, a bit like a play box really.”

Over 50 local businesses in Bradford are also supporting the campaign, displaying posters and flyers in their windows and noticeboards, to help support families to be active during winter. Businesses include local pharmacies, GP surgeries, supermarkets, takeaways, charity shops, and post offices.

Michelle, mum to 6-year-old Bernice, said she ‘had a fantastic time’ taking part in the campaign: “It was so exciting to see how the posters look and I’m going to be on the lookout for them in local businesses near where I live. I’ll be telling my friends and family all about it!”

Natural England’s 2020 report shows there has been an increase in the percentage of adults who think that learning outside or about nature is especially important for their child at this time (28% of adults with children, up from 19% in June and May) and nearly half of adults with children believe their child seems happier when they have spent time outdoors (46%, up from 36% in June and 40% in May).

Jan Burkhardt, Director of the JU:MP Programme said: “The great thing about children’s outdoor play is it’s their ‘exercise’, it’s unique to them and the main way they socialise and connect with others, even though it might just look like having fun! Being able to do this cost free, in streets and public spaces with your family is even more important at times when organised activities might close, and when many children have no garden.”

“It’s also a great way for children and their families to let off steam, and for people to cope with difficult experiences. I think it’s really important for us to not forget that being outdoors is not only great for both mental and physical health, but the risk of transmission of the virus is much lower outdoors than inside which is an added bonus!”

Families can join the movement for top tips from other parents, ideas of where to play and updates of local activities happening in their area.

Businesses can help support the campaign by getting in touch directly with JU:MP’s Campaign Manager, Emma Wragg at emma@wearemagpie.com or tel 0113 318 3051.

Join JU:MP Outdoors at https://joinusmoveplay.org/outdoors/ and join the conversation on social media because #OutdoorPlayMatters.