We all know that spending time outside is good for us. It’s common sense. And there is plenty of research to show that is the case. So why is it that kids in the UK are spending less time outdoors than ever before? Less, according to one piece of research than our prisoners?
People often say that they spent their entire childhood playing outside, only coming in when it got dark. Maybe you’ve said it yourself? I certainly remember lots of freedom to roam when I was young. I’d like to think my parents were forward-thinking advocates of wild play but I suspect that they just wanted us out of the house.
But times change. We’re raising our kids in an era of play dates, stranger danger and a belief that the authorities might come knocking if we do pack our kids off on an Enid Blyton style adventure. Parents work long hours and schools have targets to meet, so where is the time for outdoor exploration? Half the time our kids don’t even want to go outside!
So how can we get our families to spend more time outdoors? Cycling the length and breadth of Britain, climbing five peaks or wild camping for a few nights may be achievable for some, but there are many of us that could never undertake such adventures even if we’d love to. Work, family, health, money, and time are just some of the constraints that the average family juggles on a daily basis, meaning that our outdoor time needs to be practical, accessible and most importantly fun for us all. Because who wants to add another chore to their list?
About Getting Out is a collaborative space for families to share their practical ideas, real experiences and views on getting kids outside. Anyone can be a contributor, and everyone is welcome. If you’ve got an idea, an opinion or an activity to share then drop us a line. We’re interested in hearing about anything that encourages kids outdoors, or about any barriers that prevent them getting out.
For a little more information on submitting a post, comment or idea to us, please check out our submit a post page.