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The bubble-wrap generation: Children growing up in walled gardens

Children in middle class Australia, and many western countries around the world experience restricted opportunities to engage in free play in their neighbourhood streets and parks. The impact of this has been a drastic decrease in children's independent mobility and environmental play. This paper explores the phenomena of "bubble-wrapping" children to appease the anxieties of some middle class parents. The author acknowledges parenting is a complex and highly individual enterprise with many variables and notes the paper is only seeking to draw attention to a broad pattern of behaviour of a select group within society. It concludes with an overview of some of the key attributes and competencies that are being lost when children lack independent mobility in their neighbourhoods and argues why opening the front gates of our middle class suburbs is important to enhance children's environmental learning.

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