By Brendan Rees
It’s the moment they’ve been waiting for so long.
Fun and smiles were back as playgrounds reopened across the state on Monday 14 September as lockdown restrictions eased slightly.
Children have been seriously affected by not being able to play outside with their friends, Play Australia chief executive Barbara Champion said.
“Playing outdoors every day is essential to their long-term healthy development, in particular their physical and mental health,” she said.
“And so we encourage Victorian families to get outside to play as often as possible. Your children will thank you in later life if you make the time to visit your local playgrounds and green spaces.”
Vanessa Watson of Lynbrook was among many parents to flock to playgrounds with their children in Casey under blue skies on Monday.
She attended Banjo Paterson Park with her three-year-old daughter Alexis who ran “at full speed towards the slide”.
“It’s been very difficult to tell her the playground is closed because of ‘the germs’,” she said. “She doesn’t get it and at three that’s no surprise. She was very excited when we arrived at the park.”
Ms Watson said Alexis was “very happy and didn’t want to leave”.
“She has missed so much and it’s been very boring at times for her as it’s difficult to entertain a three-year-old every day without going places or seeing people.
“The other things she’s really missed is the beach, it’s outside our five kilometres. So hopefully this summer we can have lots of picnics in parks (with playgrounds) and spend some time at the beach.”