Children are more likely to be handed some sort of a gadget, such as tablet or a game console, than be encouraged to take part in outdoor activities, according to a new study.
The survey from children’s food company Organix Goodies found that 90% of mums of young kids want them to be close to nature but at the same time 80% say it is easier for them to give their kid a gadget to play with. This is despite the fact that most kids would choose to play outside, with only 29% of mums admitting that their offspring would prefer to stay indoors and play on the computer or watch television.
Spending time outside playing and exploring is crucial element of a healthy and happy childhood, but it is also important for kids’ communication skills, said Pip Levett, director of Play Gloucestershire, a charity organisation providing free play sessions for kids.
The survey also found that 99% of parents agree that exploring inspires their children’s imagination and creativity, arouses their curiosity and helps improve their independence. However, parents’ busy daily schedules prevent them from stimulating kids to create, investigate and explore, with 90% of mothers admitting that lack of time is a barrier for them to encourage their kids to play outside.
Technology overuse can harm children’s social, emotional, personal and physical development, commented Kat McLeer, manager of Treetops Nursery in Gloucester. Nonetheless, technology is not that bad – it just needs to be used prudently. Technology can enhance a child’s environment and improve their hand-eye coordination, but this has to be coupled with playing outdoors, McLeer said as quoted by the Gloucester Citizen.
Organix Goodies polled more than 700 mothers of babies or toddlers aged between one and three years.