Today (July 29th) is Schools Tree Day in Australia, coordinated by Planet Ark.
The aim of the day is to get kids outdoors, planting and caring for trees and shrubs, improving the environment where they live and learn.
Back in March, Planet Ark commissioned a study to see how childhood interaction with nature has changed over time. You can access the full study, or read the 2-page media summary.
I wasn’t surprised that kids today spend less time playing outdoors now than they (we!) did a generation ago. But the actual figures really shocked me – of the parents surveyed (all had kids aged 3-12):
- 73% said they played outside more often than inside as a child. Only 13% of their children do now.
- 72% said they played outside every day as a child. Only 23% of their children do now.
- 64% said they climbed trees as a child. Only 20% of their children do now.
Sadly, 10% of modern children play outside once per week or less.
The main reasons parents gave for this change were crime and safety concerns, and their own lack of time.
On a personal note, I’m proud to say that my girls have recently discovered the joy of climbing trees. My 8-year-old likes to stop and say hello to her favourite climbing tree every day as she walks up the drive from the school bus :-).
Do those numbers surprise you? Do you actively try to get your kids to play outside?
National Tree Day 2011 – Giveaway!
[…] posted yesterday about National Schools Tree Day. And this Sunday, 31st July 2011, is National Tree […]
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