Parenting News: Children Replace Traditional Play with TV and Computer Games

Parenting News: Children Replace Traditional Play with TV and Computer Games

Go back 10 years and the streets would be full of children riding bikes, paying tag and making the most of the outdoors.

Now, the streets are bare as the majority of children are opting to stay indoors, playing video games and watching TV.

In fact, only 25 per cent of British kids still play traditional games such as cowboys and Indians, and dressing up.

The research did find that three quarters of children do want to explore the world around them but said that their parents are often too busy to make this happen.

A spokeswoman for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London, which conducted the study to launch the Mini Explorer campaign said, “The popularity of technology with the younger generation means that computer games and television have now taken over from more traditional children’s past times.

“We have launched the Ripley’s Mini Explorer campaign to encourage kids to leave their living rooms, get out and explore the world around them.

“Explorer and founder of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Robert Ripley was famed for his adventures and his collections of unusual artefacts from across the world, and it is his legacy that we want to keep alive.”

Perhaps due to their busy lifestyles, nearly 50 per cent of parents are happy to let their children sit and play video games or watch TV.

But 77 per cent of children aged five to 11 said they would like to spend more time exploring outdoors, discovering nature and learning the names of bugs and plants.

The study also looked at children aged 12 to 15 and the results show that they are even more likely to sit playing computer games and watching TV, and even less likely to want to discover the outdoors.

Compared to the 77 per cent of young children wanting to explore the outdoors, only 42 per cent of older children would consider doing the same.

Disturbingly, six in ten 12 to 15 year olds aren’t even bothered about spending more time with their parents.

The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! spokesman added, “Older kids are naturally spending  more time playing alone as their parents are happier to give them more independence.

“The Ripley’s Mini Explorer campaign gives parents and kids a great excuse to spend more time together and encourages their natural curiosity.”