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

The JU:MP programme is funded by Sport England; they aim to build more active communities. The latest campaign is JU:MP Outdoors, which uses visuals of children and their parents out and about around Bradford, highlighting where they can play for free.

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.

Ruhi, Suhaan, Salman, Mahnoor, and Manha playing outside after school

An increasing number of adults think that learning about nature is important, according to a report by Natural England it shows 28% of parents think it’s important for their children. That is increase from 19% In May. Not only do parents feel its educational but the report suggests 46% feel their children seem happier.

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!”

Hina and Asif, parents of 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.

Hina and Asif swinging Eemaan in the park

“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, Salman, Mahnoor and Manha, 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.”