There is a positive side to the recession!
Outdoor play is making a come back in the UK, as cash-strapped parents trade spending on electronic gadgets and movies for free days out in the park, research suggests.
This is great news, and especially since Britain’s National Trust just launched a campaign to get children outdoors, connect them with nature and stimulate a nation of nature-lovers.
44% Of Youngsters Now Spend More Time Outdoors Than They Did 2 Years Ago
A poll of 1,250 UK parents of school-age children, conducted by dairy company Arla’s Kids Closer to Nature campaign suggests that 44% of youngsters are now spending more time playing outside than they did two years ago. (The campaign was launched in January 2011, with the goal of encouraging children to embrace more outdoor play.)
It also found that 70% of parents are spending less on entertaining their children than they did two years ago, and at the same time that these parents appreciated how they could have a fun, educational, and cheap day out visiting parks and green spaces. England’s weather was declared to be the greatest obstacle for outdoor play, although presumably the current drought situation means that this is not so much of a problem.
From the BBC:
Author and children’s play campaigner Tim Gill said: “Times are hard, so parents have to make savings.
“But the good news is that families are realising that fresh air costs nothing.
“Getting under the open sky – whether in a local park or the great British countryside – is the perfect way for kids to explore, have adventures and feed their curiosity and imagination.”
Kids Still Missing Out On Climbing Trees, Skipping Rope
But this is just the beginning, since the survey also suggested that children are still missing out on some traditional outdoor childhood activities: just 55% of parents polled said their child had climbed a tree, compared to 65% who said their child owned a television or DVD player. About half of children have never built a den and just under half can play a skipping rope game, it added.
The movement to re-connect children and their families has been growing rapidly in the past few years, as more and more people recognize the many benefits of being in touch with nature.
For children, spending time in nature brings improved grades, increased creativity and imagination, and better physical health, to name just a few. It’s too bad that it takes a recession to make this happen, but the results could be wonderful!
Photo Credit: vistadome dot com
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