A 2017 study by the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne reported that kids in my home state of Victoria aged between 0-2 were spending an average of 14.2 hours per week in front of screens. Screen time for children aged two to five years of age averaged 25.9 hours per week!
I wrote Puddle Hunters in the hope that it might encourage parents and small children to play outdoors, to discover the simple pleasures to be found in a park, a playground and a puddle. It was inspired by many happy experiences spent with small children on the Yarra river flats and along the Merri and Darebin Creeks, particularly my granddaughter, Alex Harper.
Since Puddle Hunter’s publication last year, I’ve received many beautiful pictures of children sharing the book with parents and grandparents and of small kids leaping in puddles. One of my favourites is of this energetic 3-year-old who woke up one morning after a rainy night and said to her mother, “Let’s go Puddle Hunting! Like Ruby!”
As the adventurous folk at Wolvenkinderen so aptly said “No kid will ever remember spending their best day on an iPad.”