The End of Outdoor Play?

June 5, 2017
The End of Outdoor Play?

A new survey has suggested children are missing out on outdoor play, considerably changing downtime habits when compared to their parents. In the age of instant entertainment from technology is this development even surprising?

The statistics of the survey, conducted by conservatory retailer Alfresia, showed almost a quarter confessed their kids rarely play outside. This may be expected but is a shame all the same when considering the life lessons and memories they may be missing out on. All adults today recall attempting to climb trees and making up games in the garden, could it be our children are swapping real life memories for virtual gratification?

The End of Outdoor Play? kid child computer

Online Influence

The survey certainly thinks so as 69% of British parents asked believed their children were spending much more time on computers and tech games than enjoying nature and the outdoors. This can be a harrowing thought as we bid to take our kids away from reliance on technology and try to encourage the natural learning we all knew and experienced growing up.

From the parents surveyed, most named building dens to be the number one outdoor activity, grabbing 68% of the overall vote. Other outdoor memory triggers included trips to the seaside and days out at the park.

child play playtime outdoor fun

Nic Jones, head of digital at said, “It’s great that such vivid and long-lasting memories can be created for children simply through outdoor play. These are recollections that we will take with us into adulthood and cherish for years to come and a lot of them involve doing things that are free”.

“However, sadly many children today seem to be missing out on these long-lasting memories that are created through enjoying outdoor experiences. For many families, the vast range of technology they have at their fingertips is a reason to stay indoors, however there is so much to embrace through outdoor activities and play. Simple games such as treasure hunts, feeding the ducks and splashing in puddles can bring such happiness. Of course, indoor games and technology have their benefits and can also be a great deal of fun, but there is no harm in getting wrapped up and heading off for an outdoor pursuit come rain or shine.”

The top 10 list of parents favourite outdoor activities from memory is listed below:


  1. Building dens – 68%
  2. Playing in the park – 65%
  3. Seaside trips – 57%
  4. Outdoor games – 56%
  5. Ball games – 52%
  6. Playing in the paddling pool – 49%
  7. Picnics – 45%
  8. Having water fights – 41%
  9. Camping trips – 38%
  10. Having barbecues – 31%

Do you agree that kids play habits are changing? Join the discussion on social or comment below. For more information visit

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