Does it seem like you see fewer children outdoors anymore? You might be completely right!
A new survey found that half of all kids spend less than an hour outdoors daily, less than prison inmates! Inmates at maximum security prisons in the United States are guaranteed at least 2 hours of outdoor time a day.
When told about the survey, both inmates and guards agreed that less outdoor time would be disastrous in prisons and were astonished that many children receive less outdoor time than they do.
The study, conduced by laundry brands OMO and Persil, surveyed 12,000 parents in ten countries, with children ages five through twelve, as part of their “Dirt is Good” campaign.
The results showed that one-third of the children spent less than 30 minutes playing in the outdoors, with half spending less than an hour outside.
Some of my favorite childhood memories are running and playing in the backyard with my brother. We had swing sets and climbing gyms. There was a swimming pool in the summer; we built snow forts in the winter. I wanted the same experience for my kids and we actively provide opportunities for them to get outdoors.
How can you include more outdoor play in your child’s life?
- Buy simple items like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, or balls to encourage more time outdoors.
- Visit local parks and playgrounds for play on larger structures.
- Cut down on screen time, especially when the weather is nice enough to enjoy being outside.
- Make it family time–take a walk or a bike ride or play catch.
- Get muddy, try our list of Things to Do Outside in the Mud