Kids prefer playing video games indoors

Kids prefer playing video games indoors

Today’s kids are more inclined to stay indoors and watch television, play computer games and in some cases, even do their homework, rather than go outside to play, says new research.

The figures show during the 1970s and 1980s, when the current generation of parents was children, they enjoyed more than two hours of outside play each weekday and a further nine hours at weekends - whatever the weather.

But today’s youngsters venture outside for just over an hour each weekday, and less than five hours on Saturdays and Sundays, according to a study by JCB Kids to mark the launch of its ‘Fresh Air Campaign’.

It’s a sad reality that many kids don’t get outside to play every day anymore. And because they don’t go out, they don’t know their own communities as well as their parents did, they don’t have....

Sam Johnson, spokesperson for JCB Kids, said: “It is alarming the extent to which today’s children are missing out on the outdoor play time which we enjoyed as children.

“Playing outdoors is so important for children – not only to help them stay active and healthy, but also to socialise with friends - and create those treasured childhood memories which we look back on so fondly.

“There are many distractions which divert kids’ attention from going outside, but as parents we need to encourage adventurous spirit and create imaginative, and of course safe, opportunities for them to get out there.

“Today’s children are spending a lot of time in front of the TV, playing on consoles and staring at computer screens.”

The study of 2,000 parents revealed the average parent spent ten hours and 26 minutes playing outside during the working week whilst they were children - double the five hours and 32 minutes children head outdoors today.

Weekends showed similar results with youngsters spending just four hours and 32 minutes outside over the two days compared to the nine hours their parents played outdoors in the same period.

It also emerged that 44 per cent of parents wish their children played outdoors more often, with 58 per cent saying their children don’t play outside as much as other youngsters they know.

And more than half of mums and dads seriously worry their child doesn’t spend enough time playing outdoors.

Instead, 43 per cent say their children would rather watch television than go outside to play with friends, while another two fifths prefer to play computer games.

Parents also said their children would rather surf the internet and listen to music, with almost one in ten even claiming their offspring favoured doing their homework to going outside.

A third of parents polled also said their children will only play outside when it is sunny, with just 17 per cent going outdoors whatever the weather.

In comparison, almost one in three parents said they enjoyed the fresh air come wind, rain or shine.

Cath Prisk, Director of Play England, a UK wide charitable organisation who promote outdoor play for children, said: “It’s a sad reality that many kids don’t get outside to play every day anymore.

“And because they don’t go out, they don’t know their own communities as well as their parents did, they don’t have as many friends in the area and they don’t have the same opportunities for fun that many of their parents did.”

The research also found that 43 per cent of parents even admitted they rely on school to ensure their children are getting plenty of time outdoors through PE and play times and spend very little outdoor time with their children themselves.

Top 10 Things Children Would Rather do Than Play Outside:

1. Watch TV

2. Play computer games

3. Play games

4. Play with toys

5. Read books

6. Go on the internet

7. Listen to music

8. Read magazines

9. Do their homework

10. Do chores

Tell us your thoughts on this research - why do you think kids don't play outdoors as much anymore? Comment below or tweet [email protected]_UK

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  1. by EA 21st Oct 2013 03:08

    i'm doing a paper on this subject. this helped, thanks!

  2. by WillGolden 21st Oct 2013 18:40

    It is all about moderation in the face of paranoia about child abuse.

    I have some experience here as I worked with IWF (the Internet Watch Foundation) for a few years protecting children on the internet.

    The truth is that paedophilia was more common years ago that we think through our rose-tinted memory cells and, conversely, it is not as widespread today as we fear.

    If it were, it would not hit the news.

    Now I am convinced that i*****, specifically, is quite commonplace and always has been. Sadly it is animal nature. So kids are paradoxically more at risk kept indoors than they are out in public where they and any possible third-party suitors can be seen.

    Also if kids are overprotected then the first time they are let out they are potential roadkill, as naive as they were in the cradle. Just try housebinding a cat for its first 2 years. Then let it out and it is spatchcocked on the road within the hour!

    We have to prepare our kids for any ills in the world and, if we trust our parenting, then we can trust them to have the wiles to avoid problems.

    I sometimes do think (and have uncovered some instances) that the most overprotecting parents may just actually have something to hide. Keep them shut up and they can't tell tales!

    But then again, even in innocent circumstances, keep kids indoors and you have psychological issues for life to deal with.

    My 2 nephews are well cool. I gave them theoretical sex education with a social handbook aged eight, years before they got the weapon in their hand, so to speak. They have grown up out there and unabused.

    Emphasis: OUT THERE!

    Hugz Will

  3. by WillGolden 21st Oct 2013 18:47

    It is all about moderation in the face of paranoia about child abuse.

    I have some experience here as I worked with IWF (the Internet Watch Foundation) for a few years protecting children on the internet.

    The truth is that paedophilia was more common years ago that we think through our rose-tinted memory cells (I myself had a close escape in my teens) and, conversely, it is not as widespread today as we fear.

    If it were, it would not hit the news.

    Now I am convinced that intra-family relations, specifically, are quite commonplace and always has been. Sadly, it is animal nature. So kids are paradoxically more at risk kept indoors than they are out in public where they and any possible third-party suitors can be seen and intercepted.

    Also if kids are overprotected then the first time they are let out they are potential roadkill for any misfortune, as naive as they were in the cradle. Just try housebinding a cat for its first 2 years. Then let it out and it is spatchcocked on the road within the hour!

    We have to prepare our kids for any ills in the world and, if we trust our parenting, then we can accordingly trust them to have the wiles to avoid problems.

    I sometimes do think (and have uncovered some instances) that the most overprotecting parents may just actually have something to hide. Keep them shut up and they can't tell tales!

    But then again, even in innocent circumstances, keep kids indoors and you have psychological issues for life to deal with.

    My 2 nephews are well cool. I gave them theoretical sex education with a social handbook aged eight, years before they got the weapon in their hand, so to speak. They have grown up out there and unabused.

    Emphasis: OUT THERE!

    Hugz Will

  4. by jinjin 07th Nov 2013 01:47

    I think it is partly the parent's fault for allowing their children to play with toys at home instead of actively engaging with their children and spending time with them on outdoor activities. My parents took me out for swimming, bowling, golf, tennis, volleyball, bicycle riding, horseback riding and more.

  5. by mone 08th Dec 2013 11:48

    Clearly they spend most of their time indoors, the greatest danger to kidsis road traffic.
    I'd let my Kids out if drivers were not such a danger to children, you know slowing down bit. Women are just as inconsiderate as men, at times worse.

  6. by jinjin 09th Dec 2013 15:19

    Having children play in the street is never a smart choice. The parents should take their children to a place designed for activity such as a playground, tennis court, bowling alley, swimming centre, baseball field, ... etcetera. I also believe the parents need to make time in their schedule to be with the children when they are playing and participate in events that support their children's activities

  7. by jinjin 09th Dec 2013 15:20

    Having children play in the street is never a smart choice. The parents should take their children to a place designed for activity such as a playground, tennis court, bowling alley, swimming centre, baseball field, ... etcetera. I also believe the parents need to make time in their schedule to be with the children when they are playing and participate in events that support their children's activities. If they can not do that then they have too may children.

  8. by mostirreverent 30th Dec 2013 06:05

    My kids had a great property to play in with lots of hidden areas, but I was always in eye's shot from them. I'm sure I had too much freedom, though I was usually with other kids too. Its a shame, but I would never have let them wonder into woods alone or with friends the way I did, or with a rifle (yikes)

  9. by justin 29th Jan 2014 07:42

    this article is so biased. Of course parents are going to bag on their kids for not getting outside more, because they are nostalgic and want to feel like "their generation was better". 2 hours outside in the weekdays is not much more than 1.5 hours.