A new study has found that three quarters of children are missing out on essential play opportunities The survey of 840 British and American parents conducted by Fundamentally Children, found that almost three quarters of children under 12 are not getting enough active free play, such as running around or riding bikes. This was true for 65 per cent of 1-4-year-olds, 73 per cent of 5-8-year-olds, and 77 per cent of 9-12-year-olds. A lack of time was shown to be one of the biggest barriers to active free play for around a third of children. Fundamentally Children, an organisation dedicated to helping children develop skills through play, undertook the study to investigate whether children are getting a good balance of different play activities.
Active free play, the most important part of the Children’s Balanced Play Pyramid, is significant for positive wellbeing and for keeping children healthy through physical exercise. Focusing on increasing the amount of active free play could therefore help tackle the rising problem of childhood obesity and mental health issues.
Aston spoke to Dr Amanda Gummer, child psychologist and founder of Fundamentally Children and Gary Grant, founder and Executive chairman of The Entertainer to discuss why children under 12 are not getting enough active free play and offered advice as to what they can do help them develop.