Ask anyone over 30 to recount their most treasured memories of childhood play, and few will be indoors. Independent play, outdoors, and varied, is what we remember. As things stand, today’s children will be unlikely to treasure memories like that: 21% of today’s kids regularly play outside, compared with 71% of their parents.
As if those figures weren’t bad enough, when we deep dive into the area we see how little play outdoors there really is. Recent research from Sudocrem has revealed that, on average, children spend 45.5 hours in front of a screen, and only 5 hours outside each week playing outside.
It matters more than you may think
Young children need the opportunity to use their whole body and develop their gross motor skills. It’s only when they have mastered these that they will be able to control their fine motor skills, like a knife and fork, or holding a pencil, for instance. While for older children, various studies have continuously shown how much outdoor play leads to better social skills, flexibility and reduced anxiety.
– Using Nature and Outdoor activity to improve children’s health
– Cooped up children loose out
And now the kids want it too!
While the ever increasing rates of childhood obesity would have us believe that children are lazier than ever, actually over 50% of children researched in the Sudocrem piece said they themselves thought they were spending too much time indoors not enough playing outdoors!
It’s time to get playing dad – #PlayMoreMonth
That’s why we’re excited to announce The DaddiLife Play More Month, in association with Sudocrem Play More.
Throughout this month ahead, our aim is to get you and the kids playing outdoors more, and we’ll be featuring a range of dads and experts, focusing on more quality moments outdoors with dad!
What’s more, we want to make it a rewarding month too.
How to get involved:
1. Share more – if you believe outdoor play matters please share our video and get other dads involved.
2. Win More – To get you outdoors more this summer, every week of the campaign we’ll be giving away a Trike worth over £100 and Space Hoppers for free. Simply put in your details below and a winner will be picked at random each week! Good luck!
3. Play More – Tag your moments with #PlayMoreMonth
We’ll be featuring dads making a difference. Simply hashtag ‘#PlayMoreMonth’ across your Instagram and Facebook posts, and we’ll repost the best efforts and tips right across our social media!
Not sure where to start?
The National Trust has an inspirational “50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ activity list”. So why don’t you…?
• Climb the highest hill near where you live, racing to see who can get to the top first – then roll down it.
• Make a daisy chain.
• Visit a farm. You don’t have to be living in the country to do this; city farms give ample opportunity for watching, feeding and petting animals.
• Skim stones.
• Go on a long bike ride.
• Play pooh sticks.
• Make a den.
• Pick blackberries.
• Have a snail race.
Whatever you do, make sure you pack all the right essentials, especially the kids water bottles, and GO HAVE FUN!
Get out there dad, and make a difference. #PlayMoreMonth
In another post I talked of what I did with my dad that I’ll always remember, and that I really loved. My memory was about Dad teaching me to swim. Others talked about riding a motor scooter with their Dad through the streets. Another one- canoeing together. Another one – rampaging through the bush on a holiday in an abandoned cottage miles away from any TV or other people or shops. Can you see what all of these have in common? Yep. All were outdoors.
Are dads sitting too much every day? Driving times seem to be increasing as cities spread out. Many more people live in apartments in places like Sydney. Here I am writing on a screen, and I do this a lot for work or play. Kids likewise are caught by clever video games; they email people; they look things up on a screen. Parents seem to worry if their kids walk to school. Most of us in out 60s and 70s walked to school every school day. Uh oh: that might be dangerous today, we think. People say they read the news on screens. All of us need to get up more and get out more. One useful thing is parents saying “no screen use on xxxx day”
SO : what can we do?
Talk to your kids and see what they suggest. And ask them where they have most fun. Then: do something to get them out of doors!
[…] of the TV, and only 5 hours playing outside. This statistic prompted me to get involved with the Daddilife #playmoremonth campaign . I thought I would share with you my feelings and experiences of playing outside with my […]
[…] now might be the perfect time for that. It is, after all, Play More Month at […]
Aww I’ve not played pooh sticks in many years! Brings back sweet memories. 🙂
[…] the statistic that children are, on average, spending 45 hours per week behind a screen and just 5 hours doing active outdoor play is disappointing but not, unfortunately, […]
[…] whatever you want, but do it outside if you can. There’ll be plenty of time for cosy afternoons inside when real autumn starts. For […]
[…] Camelbak is ideal for outdoor play where it’s easy to attach to a backpack. It’s BPA free, weighs around 155 grams, and can carry […]
[…] leave it outside: Tuff Trays are great for outdoor play, but we wouldn't recommended that you leave the stand outside over night or in the rain. Store it […]
[…] With that in mind, here’s our guide to some of the best things you can do with your children this Easter. Because it’s time, once more, to shake off your winter torpor and embrace the outdoors. […]
[…] Second, even the research shows that dads aren’t doing less of these wholesome activities with their kids because of laziness. They just don’t have time. Dads are either too busy to teach random ‘boys own’ life skills to their children, or their kids are too busy playing computer games. Or both. If there is any worth in the research at all, it’s the implication that children should play out more. […]