NEW YORK — Are the great outdoors just one giant bore to kids today? The average parent thinks their child could only keep themselves occupied outside for just 32 minutes before boredom sets in.
Results of a survey of 2,000 parents with children between five and 13 years-old reveals that less than half of moms and dads (48%) believe their child could entertain themselves in the outdoors for a half-hour. One in two parents worry their kids don’t have the same level of imagination that they did during their own youth and think technology might be to blame.
Kids are happier are spending time outside
Parents in the poll reminisced over their own childhoods, with about three in four claiming it was much easier to make friends in their day – just by going outside and playing in their neighborhoods. That’s in comparison to kids today who have to contend with the lure of browsing social media all day.
Over seven in 10 parents surveyed (72%) believe their family doesn’t spend enough time outside. Also, when their kids do go outside, 49 percent of parents report that youngsters find the outdoors boring. One in two respondents (48%) say they barter TV or computer time with their kids in an effort to make them explore the outdoors.
Parents confessed their kids aren’t the only ones not embracing nature. Seven in ten admitted their family as a whole doesn’t go outside enough, although nearly two in three (63%) added their kids seem to be happier after going out to play. Overall, 59 percent of respondents estimated their family spends less than half of their quality time together out of the house.
While weather-related obstacles like rain (44%), snow (41%), or humidity (41%) naturally deserve part of the blame for lack of outdoor time, other more neighborhood-specific elements can keep kids from getting out of the house too. This includes one in four children (23%) who complain of a lack of friends in the area.
“Our survey shows that kids are happy after playing outside, but the challenge parents face is having the tools to motivate their kids to get outdoors for play time. That is why Claritin has launched The Outsideologist Project, which provides expert-guided activities to inspire a love of the outdoors and aims to get 1.2 million kids to spend an extra hour outside per week,” says Catherine Vennat, a spokesperson for Claritin, in a statement.
Ditch the iPad for the kayak
Since last year, kids have actually been getting into the great outdoors more, according to 65 percent of parents in the poll. Adults have also discovered fun pandemic-friendly activities everyone can enjoy. Forty-five percent have taken a dip and gone swimming with their kids, while 43 percent have taken up the ultimate pandemic trend and started hiking as a family.
Forty-two percent have encouraged their children to embrace their green thumbs with a bit of gardening, while nearly the same number (42%) have gotten their cardio exercise in with outdoor sports like soccer.
“Because the survey also uncovered that 70 percent of parents shared that if seasonal allergies were less of a concern, their family would spend more time outside, we believe everyone deserves to reap the many benefits that come with spending time outdoors,” Vennat adds.