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Book urges kids to play outside

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November 10, 2017

In a world where kids are increasingly glued to screens, former Benalla Migrant Camp resident Helen Topor has written a book that aims get youngsters back outside.

In a world where kids are increasingly glued to screens, former Benalla Migrant Camp resident Helen Topor has written a book that aims get youngsters back outside.

Her book Outdoor Games for Today’s Kids, which will be launched during the Benalla Festival, features more than 100 traditional games, which were played in the Migrant Camp between 1949 and 1967.

Helen will launch her book at the Sir Edward ‘‘weary’’ Dunlop Centre at Benalla Library on Friday at 3pm.

‘‘I grew up in the Benalla Migrant Camp and the games that form the actual contents of the book were played there, I played those games there,’’ Helen said.

‘‘So it made a lot sense to hold the launch in Benalla and it coincides with the migrant camp reunion.

‘‘The book is targeted for adults to encourage kids to have less screen time.

‘‘It does not require expensive equipment and would be great for schools, after-school clubs, recreation groups, or any adult who has children in their care.’’

Some researchers have likened electronic devices to being similar to poker machines, incredibly addictive and designed to keep kids playing.

Helen hopes this book will help adults to get young Australians interacting with their family and friends without the use of an electronic device.

‘‘Too much screen time affects kids’ learning as they don’t have the ability to concentrate,’’ Helen said.

‘‘They’re losing those very important skills, which they can get by playing physically with each other.

‘‘So this book is a resource to help move kids away from screens and have more balance in their lives.

‘‘I think a lot of kids know these games and just need encouragement to play them.’’

Entry to the launch is free and the event is a great prelude to the Migrant Camp Reunion, which is taking place immediately after at the airport.

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