Thursday 27 July 2017

Children want to play outside more

Children would like to be able to play outside more, a survey has found
Children would like to be able to play outside more, a survey has found

More than a third of children would like to branch out from computer games to try a wider range of play opportunities, according to a survey by the Big Lottery Fund.

The fund, which hands out almost half of the money raised by the National Lottery, found that 87% of children aged between seven and 15 regularly played computer games.

However 38% of the children surveyed said they would like to try other activities, including den and tree house building, martial arts and making things with wood or other materials.

The poll found that more than half (56%) of children go cycling and an additional 13% would like to have the opportunity to do so.

It also found that nearly a third (29%) of children find time for water-based play and a further 16% said they would like to.

Climbing trees proved popular, with 12% of children saying they would like to give it a go. Only 2% of children said they would like to have the opportunity to play computer games.

The poll came as the fund announced the results of a three year evaluation of its Children's Play programme. It has committed £123 million since 2006 to providing access to good quality play opportunities across England.

The programme has dished out 351 grants to local authorities to help them run 1,466 play projects.

The evaluation found that 87% of projects led to improved levels of physical activity among children. Of those surveyed, 89% agreed that children in their area now had more opportunities to challenge themselves and take risks.

Nat Sloane, chair of the fund's England Committee, said: "While there is this perception that the only thing that children today want to do is spend their days glued to a computer screen, the reality is rather different. As highlighted by the poll, children want to be more adventurous - they want to climb trees, ride their bikes and build dens."

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