Originally published at TheEducator on 13th February 2017
While advances in digital technologies are opening previously unimagined opportunities in work, leisure and education, our increasing reliance on technology can have a negative impact on our welfare. One issue, which is of particular concern for parents and educators, is that today’s generation of children are spending more time online and considerably less time playing outdoors, a situation which could negatively impact their emotions, health, intelligence and creativity.
A recent survey revealed that 75% of children in the UK, spend less time outside than prison inmates. Furthermore, the report, Play in Balance, which polled 12,000 parents, recorded that 75% of parents claimed their children preferred playing digital games on a screen rather than playing physical sports outside. Following the publication of this report, schools have been urged to ensure primary pupils get ample opportunities to spend time playing outside during the school day.
Educationalist Sir Ken Robinson told TES, “Schools have a big role because kids spend the greater part of their waking hours at school…..I think it’s important that we look again at the importance of play-based learning – there’s a long history of research to show that play is not a waste of time, it is not time that is badly spent. Play, among human beings, has very important social benefits.”
Continue reading “The importance of outdoor play”