Recession Means Kids Are Playing Outside Again!

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. Englandís 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!

Related Stories

Let’s Take A Walk! Exercise Is Good For Our Brains

Get Out Into Nature! Says Britain’s National Trust

Preschoolers Need To Get Outside And Play!

Photo Credit: vistadome dot com


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

awesome! We have acres of gardens, so we are keen on outside play!

Judy A.
Judy A5 years ago

I am so happy they are getting fresh air.

David Nuttle
Past Member 5 years ago

When and where possible, parents need to get their children involved in gardening as well as creating edible landscapes ... and this is in addition to providing outdoor sports & play in a safe environment.

Helen H.
Helen H5 years ago


Nirvana Jaganath
Nirvana Jaganath5 years ago


Michael C.
Michael C5 years ago

Damn, with all the space on the freeway and or surface streets going to waste...think Iraq and Afghanistan. Think about all the unemployed funeral homes...but wait, they are never empty or unemployed.

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold5 years ago

This is fantastic, not the recession and parents lack of $$, but that the children are playing outside at the parks, in the yards and in sandlots. This is what children were meant to do and hopefully they will find it so much fun that they will want to do it all the time. It never hurt us and it won't hurt them.

Christine Stewart

I think it's great for kids to play outside, as long as the kids are monitored- too many pervs out there these days....

Unusable Lost Account
Past Member 5 years ago

Positive things can come from negative things.

Past Member
Past Member 5 years ago

We have a huge yard and live in a suburban area and it is still hard to get the kids outside. We have to push them out the doors some days but once out they always have a blast! Unfortunately not everyone is as privileged and I want to see more being done to provide all children with outdoor access!