Deep snow 0n a school day was fantastic because this heralded the snowball fight of snowball fights each and every break time and at the start and finish of school as every pupil (and some parents) joined in, watched by ranks of snowmen, each adorned with the hats and scarves, originally intended for the architects of each individual snowman.
I remember well, ice-cold hands encased in sodden gloves and the challenge of trying to hold ones pencil steady enough to produce a legible piece of work, whilst waiting for fingers to defrost and feeling to return. And let’s not forget rosy red nose and cheeks, oh and tingling toes.
Granted, someone occasionally got hit with a projectile which had been so tightly packed that is was more ice ball than snowball and yes there was the occasional cut or bruise from snow related accidents but in general because we were used to this sort of play, we knew how to deal with it. It was fun!
Sadly for our girls and their friends, Health and Safety (H&S) disapproves of snow and especially of playing in snow. Apparently it is dangerous and someone could get hurt.
This, in my mind, is a bit like the not playing conkers debacle (somebody might get hit by one) and having to remove Bluebells and Foxgloves from the school garden (in case a child eats one).
It’s H&S gone mad. Surely to goodness this is what being a child and learning how to react and behave is all about.
In the Mudlets school we have an adventure playground, made from wood but it’s a fabulous set of apparatus which has been risk assessed and cleared for use, under supervision and on a rota, so only a certain year group can use it on any given day. To me this playground, great though it is, is far more likely to be the cause of cuts, bruises and broken limbs than conkers or playing outside on snowy days.
As for the Bluebells and Foxgloves, well if by the time they get to school, a child hasn’t been taught not to eat things from the garden without permission because they may be poisonous, then that’s pretty bad on the part of the parents but surely, if H&S are so concerned, they should be fostering a teach and educate approach and NOT a remove every temptation one.
Yes, despite what the modern day child may think of as quite primitive opportunities for a child back in my day, especially when compared to modern standards, with H&S ruling the roost now and in this world of the Nanny State, I’m so glad that I was a child of the 1970s, when children could be children and scrapes and bruises were a part of life!