Globally, mums share a common voice in their understanding of the developmental benefits of experiential learning and play: social, intellectual and physical. As parents, we instinctively know the benefits of experiential play – we experienced them ourselves! However, this knowledge is often outweighed by our fears over children’s safety, a lack of time (particularly in Western Europe and the USA) and a lack of quality play facilities. All these obstacles inhibit our kids from reaping the benefit of unstructured activities. Naturally, mums don’t want to see their children in danger.
The results of the DiG whitepaper ‘Giving Children The Right To Be Children’ reflect that mums are anxious about safety (48%) or children becoming hurt (24%). However, what’s more worrying is that nearly half of mums globally admit these concerns mean their kids are kept indoors, with the majority (71%) admitting they allow their children to place too much emphasis on sedentary indoor activities, such as watching TV or playing video games.
Many kids today grow up with both of their parents at work, so you won’t be amazed to hear that lack of time is also a barrier to play (33%) for parents trying to juggle a career, parenting, housekeeping and social activities. Whilst we all want to make our kids a priority and overcome our fears of safety, these concerns have become obstacles that stand in the way of our kids’ opportunities for outdoor or unstructured experiences.
The Global Numbers
- 79% of mums believe the importance of children learning through play and other unstructured activities has been forgotten in their country
- 77% are concerned children are growing up too quickly
- 92% of mums say it is their job as a parent to protect childhood for their kids
- 73% say given a choice their child would choose to play outdoors rather than inside
- 54% of mums want more time for their children to behave like children