Kids are playing outside less and less as time goes on, as a new Kelton Research survey reveals: Kids today have eight hours less per week of outdoor playtime than their parents did. Overall kids today spend 56% more time in front of screens than they do playing outside. 96% of parents report their kids have experience playing video games, while only 61%-74% of parents say that their children have visited a national or state park or gone hiking. And most parents say 13 hours is the ideal amount of outdoor play per week but parents also admitted that their kids spend about 14 hours in front of a screen, and just nine hours engaged in outdoor play each week. CLIF Kid, maker of certified organic snacks for active kids, in collaboration with Richard Louv, best selling author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, aim to change some of these sobering statistics with the launch of CLIF Kid’s 2nd Annual Backyard Game of the Year Contest. Keep reading to learn more about this creative contest, including the cool prizes your child may win, plus see the game invented by last year’s winner.
Why Outdoor Play Matters
The CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year contest is designed to get kids outside and active. This year Richard Louv will serve as Chief Outdoor Officer for the 2012 Backyard Game of the Year Contest and Playoffs and Louv notes, “Kids are healthier, happier and more creative when they spend more time outdoors. I’m excited to be a partner with CLIF Kid in its terrific effort to encourage kids and their families to reconnect with nature and invent their own games — beginning in their own backyards.” Louv and CLIF Kids are on the right track. As you saw in the research above, kids are lacking outdoor playtime, which is not only detrimental to their physical health, but their emotional well-being too. The benefits of outdoor play are far reaching and include lower obesity rates, less stress, reduced ADHD symptoms and many other perks. Plus, playing outside is just plain fun – our generation knew this growing up and our kids should be allowed to know this as well.