Outdoor games missed by today’s computer-loving kids

Playing in the mud, making garlands and climbing trees are simple pleasures that have defined childhood for generations.

But these youthful activities seem to be disappearing as an increasing number of children play video games instead.

Dozens of outdoor activities that were almost universally enjoyed a generation ago are falling into disuse, researchers say.

Traditional childhood activities, such as building sandcastles, are at risk of disappearing as young people choose to stay indoors and play computer games rather than participate in outdoor activities

A study found that two-thirds of today’s screen-addicted kids have never made a daisy chain and more than 40% have never smothered in mud.

A third had never risked the wrath of their parents by coming home soaked after being out in the rain.

Playing in the woods, planting seeds and climbing trees were also among hobbies that many modern youths had never tried.

According to research, the average child spends just under five hours a week playing outside, less than half of the 11 hours their parents’ generation enjoyed.

Experts believe that the lack of outdoor activities has a significant impact on children’s health, with exercise not being their priority.

The study also found that a lack of outdoor play could affect their nature education, as they spend less time growing plants and viewing wildlife.

Eco Attractions, an alliance of visitor hotspots including Eden Project and Kew Gardens, carried out the investigation.

David Hardy, spokesman for the group, said: “Kids these days have so much more to enjoy themselves – computers, a host of TV channels and smartphones – something older generations didn’t have. not.”

As a result, youngsters miss getting dirty in mud and puddles or just spending time in the fresh air.

“These traditional activities can be a great way to encourage kids to spend more time outdoors, get more exercise, and create more memories than they’ll get from just sitting in front of a computer or television screen.

The study of 2,000 parents found that 35% of children did not splash around in puddles.

Less than half had built sandcastles on the beach, 53% had never had a picnic anywhere other than in their backyard and only 44% had taken family bike rides.

Dozens of children are missing out on the fun of splashing in puddles - and coming home soaked

Dozens of children are missing out on the fun of splashing in puddles – and coming home soaked

Experts warn that simple outdoor pleasures like climbing trees are at risk of becoming non-existent

Experts warn that simple outdoor pleasures like climbing trees are at risk of becoming non-existent

Only four in ten had planted seeds and just over a third had helped grow fruit or vegetables. Seven out of ten had never picked blackberries and two-thirds had never flown a kite.

Animal spotting was also not on the agenda, with two-thirds of children saying they had never looked for birds and only 35% had gone in search of insects.

More than three-quarters of parents said they would like their children to spend more time outdoors, but a quarter said their youngsters would rather play computer games or watch TV – and offspring 13% said chose to do it alone.

Location can be a key factor, with a quarter of parents saying they don’t live near green spaces.

Almost half admitted they were more concerned about letting children play outside than they had been in the past.