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Do Kids Need More Space? – Topical Tuesdays Activities from First News  

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Famous children’s author Katherine Rundell believes British children need more space to grow and play. Rundell, who spent part of her childhood in Zimbabwe, says that unlike her own experience, British children have less opportunity for unsupervised play. She believes the lack of freedom might be causing them to grow up too quickly.


Having lots of space for children to run around in sounds great. But what about their safety? Don’t youngsters need a trusted, responsible adult to keep an eye on them? In any case, isn’t it an impractical idea as you can’t just magic space into busy cities? Or do you agree with Katherine Rundell about giving children more freedom to play? Won’t it be better for their physical and mental health? Does modern life force children to become too careful and inactive? What do you think?

Writing skills

Write two short descriptions of the same place, such as your local park or playground. Your challenge is to make one description sound really weird, spooky or scary and the other like it’s a wonderful place to be while still describing the same things.


Imagine you were allowed to play out all day in your local area. No doubt, your parents or carers would want to know that you could do so responsibly. Write a set of ten rules to ensure that you stayed safe, happy and out of trouble. Remember to use imperative verbs where appropriate.


Research some of the animals that live in Zimbabwe, where Katherine Rundell grew up. Write a brief fact file about four or five of them.

What is First News?

Launched in May 2006, First News is the most trusted weekly newspaper for young audiences, covering global headlines and empowering children with an understanding of the world in which they are growing up.

To find out more about how First News could help your school unlock the power of news-based learning, through high quality, weekly resources alongside the print and digital newspaper, visit the First News Education website.

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