Our recent survey revealed more than half of children under 10 (54%) admit their favourite activity is playing on a smartphone or tablet and watching TV. In fact, children aged five to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a
day in front of a screen compared with around three hours in 1995, according to researchers.
With this in mind, we’re championing parents to give their kids more green time and less screen time this summer.
More than a third (37%) of parents questioned, say their children are far too wrapped up in technology. Less than one in ten (7%) reveal their children regularly play outside and only 13% parents admit they actually encourage their
kids to get outdoors.
And it’s not just antisocial, detrimental health effects of too much exposure to screens for children include sleep deprivation, obesity, lack of imagination, vision problems, aches and pains, loss of social skills and aggression.
Camping in the Forest’s survey also revealed that less than a quarter (24%) of today’s children know how to play conkers, while a staggering 70% have no idea how to play the traditional outdoor game of Tig.
Leading psychotherapist Hilda Burke comments: “From a very early age children emulate their parents, so it comes as no surprise that very high digital usage in adults is also now being reflected in children. If parents adopt clear
boundaries for digital devices around their kids, e.g. phones are switched off during play time and meal times, they will learn valuable lessons about how there is a time and a place to use these devices and that it’s up to us to
regulate our usage.
With the summer holidays in full swing we are urging parents to curb their kids’ screen time and ensure they enjoy more green time in a bid to re-ignite their imagination, encourage physical exercise and stimulate creativity. Green
time is free, on your doorstep and is the most fun kids can have!
To get you started, we’ve come up with our top ten outdoor activities for all the family to enjoy this summer:
1. Play rounders
Rounders is the perfect game for both adults and children to play. Whether it’s in the garden, on your camping holiday, or at the local park, it’s great fun and will even burn that ice cream off.
2. Go on a nature trail
A nature trail is a brilliant way to keep your kids entertained on a country walk. From exploring your local woodland to walking in your local park, you’ll be amazed at what you see when you really take a
good look around you. Grab a nature-spotting guide, and get exploring.
3. Fly a kite
Highly satisfying, therapeutic and massively underrated, there is nothing like flying a kite. The more colourful the better, watch its tails soar on the wind and challenge each other to see who can keep it flying the
4. Be conservation conscious
Have your kids plant and look after their own flower or herb garden; or better, create wildlife conservation areas and learn about the nature on your doorstep. Why not build a bumblebee hotel, or
create a hog house for our prickly friends and watch your visitors arrive for the summer.
5. Host an outdoor sports day
Build a backyard obstacle course with hula hoops, jump ropes, egg and spoon and even a hose. Winner takes all…
Introduce your kids to one of our childhood faves – tig. They’ll soon get the hang of the rules and love chasing you around the garden!