Most parents want their children to grow up in a healthy and active environment, playing outdoor games, rolling in the grass with their friends, and learning to be a part of the natural surroundings. According to a survey conducted by the National Trust, nine out of ten parents would like their children to have a close connection with nature and spend more of their time outside.
Shockingly, the research also suggested that modern children spend half of the amount of time playing outdoors that their parents did. An average child spends only four hours per week outside, which is 50% less if you compare it to their parents. The adults who were spent about 8.2 hours a week on average playing outdoors when they were children.
Technology versus nature
Technological development may be a reason why children are increasingly spending their time indoors. 83% of the parents who were questioned agreed that it was important that their children learned to properly use technology. However, a further 96% of the adults questioned were sure that playing outside was even more important for the development of their children. The participants of the survey included 1,001 parents with children between four and fourteen.
The National Trust children activity campaign
The National Trust is a charity involved in the preservation of cultural heritage and the natural environment by providing it with public access. The Trust created a list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 and three-quarters’ in order to promote an active lifestyle among younger children. It consists of a list of fifty challenges that a child has to tick as completed by the age of eleven and three quarters.
Among the must-do activities, there are activities such as climbing a tree, playing pooh sticks, building a den, going stargazing, hunting for bugs and many other imaginative outdoor games that have been created to get children excited about outdoor play.
Raleigh Ritchie becomes a campaigner
The famous Game of Thrones actor and talented musician, Raleigh Ritchie, recently joined the National Trust campaign. Ritchie has written a rap and made a short video about the exciting activities that children can do outside.
Ritchie used the example of a simple wooden stick that might be a drumstick, a microphone, a broom, a magic wand, an archery bow or even a dragon bone. The purpose of the song and the video was to inspire children to use the simple items that surround them and use their imagination to create endless possibilities for games.
A summer of adventures
As the summer season approaches, the National Trust have set a goal to inspire children and their families to go outdoors, explore and discover new places. On its website, the organisation prepared a list of places with detailed information and recommendations of places to visit for family adventures. The list includes historical estates, gardens, islands, abandoned mines and many different kinds of hidden treasures throughout the UK.
Despite the results of the survey, children are curious and imaginative by nature, and with the continued help of adults, it is possible to bring the traditional outdoors-focused childhood back into the modern world.