15% of the kids never play outdoors. NEVER?!

Especially kids from higher educated parents in cities

1 out of 7 kids NEVER play outdoors

15% of the Dutch children do not play outside. NEVER. Today in the headlines. Again.

This applies especially to children of higher educated parents, living in cities. These kids rather play videogames inside. The result is that playgrounds are deserted. It is already known that outdoor play is in decline. But the fact that 1 out of 7 kids is always inside is new. And shocking.

Especially kids from higher educated parents spend their time indoors

New research shows that especially kids from higher educated parents spend their time indoors. There are two main reasons.

Higher educated parents:

  • Don't spend enough time to stimulate their kids to go outside.

  • Are more protective.

The parents set the example. Show your kids that there is more in life than hard work and computer screens!

Striking as they do want to raise their kids well

It is striking that higher educated parents allow their kids to spend all their time indoors. Higher educated parents are known for conscious parenting. They want to do their best in raising their children in the exact right way. They read about it, they talk about it with friends and most of all they are often uncertain. They give their children healthy food, read out, take them to museums, bring them to music class, sports, etc.

Outdoor play is important for kids' physical and emotional wellbeing

It seems that these parents forget to allow their children free time and wandering around exploring the world on their own. Outdoor play offers so much for kids, for their physical and emotional wellbeing. Just read the 10 reasons why outdoor play is so important and you will find that outdoor play benefits your child his or her entire life! 

And above all outdoor play is FUN and it makes children cheerful. 

Think a moment about the most precious moments in your childhood

We often asked parents about their best childhood memories. Without exception (and we asked hundreds!) they state that playing outdoors was the most joyful experience. Not watching television (back then the equivalent of computers). No one remembered their best day of television 😉

Life has become much faster paced, but kids still should find the time to wander and play. Unstructured play is one of the most important ways of learning. It triggers imagination and creativity, sharpens their judgement and social skills etc.

So let's make a deal

When your kids look back on their childhood, what do you want them to remember? Just take them outdoors even for 30 minutes every day and play. You will find that once you do that, they (and you!) will enjoy being outdoors and they will also start playing outdoors more. It benefits you and your kids. And it makes you an even greater parent than you already are.

Then, ask them over dinner what they have enjoyed most today. Most likely they will not say "Playing Fortnite". Try it out!

Don't know what to do outdoors? We will help you with inspiration if you leave your name and email address below


The research was executed by the Dutch outdoor play association Jantje Beton. You can read the full article (in Dutch) here. The article in the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.