With smartphones, tablets, endless TV and the coolest gadgets in the world at their fingertips, it’s easy for kids to forget the outside world exists. So we need to show it to them!
I think Sonny was around six months old when I first saw him swipe the screen on my iPhone. It seemed quite cute at first, but then it dawned on me this was my fault. He watches me play with my phone so much that he thinks it’s cool, so he wants to do it. And rather than being cute, it’s actually quite terrifying.
Click to zoom …
I read recently that three quarters of UK kids spend less time outdoors than prison inmates, which is both shocking and heartbreaking at the same time. This stat is taken from a 2016 government survey that revealed 74% of children spend less than 60 minutes playing outside every day, which – when you think about it – isn’t that surprising at all.
We all lead busy lives, and with work commitments, nursery drop-offs, school-runs, meal times, bath times and bed times to squeeze into every day, it’s easy to see how outdoor trips get neglected. It’s usually just easier not to take kids outside.
Another recent report from the National Trust talks about how a ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ is creating all sorts of hidden issues for our kids, such as diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses, and even the loss of basic everyday abilities like assessing danger when crossing the road.
How have we let this happen?