Encouraging kids to play outdoors again

Competition encourages kids to get back outdoors 

What are our memories of childhood? Playing outside, on bikes, climbing trees, making daisy chains. New research suggests our kids are going to have very different memories of their childhood by the time they are parents themselves.

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New research by online family retailer Littlewoods.com, asked 2,000 parents and 1,000 children aged six to 12 about getting outdoors, in the lead up to summer. The research uncovered that despite 82 per cent of parents regularly encouraging their children to go out and explore, kids choose to watch TV and films (35%) or play computer games (31%), rather than get out in the garden or park.

This may not come as a complete surprise to most, as let's face it, we all know kids today watch a lot more TV and play more computer games than ever before. But the following findings from the research may just surprise you.

* Four in 10 kids have never seen a conker

* Three in 10 can't recognise a woodlouse

* two in 10 don't know what a tadpole is

* 32 per cent said they get bored too quickly outside

* 33 per cent stated that playing indoors on computer games is more fun than being outside.

As a result of the findings, Littlewoods.com has teamed up with wildlife enthusiast Michaela Strachan with the launch of the "Treehouse of the Year" competition. It is a nationwide search to find the best kids' outdoor area in the UK, encouraging children to get back outdoors and rediscover the joys of gardens, parks and green areas throughout the country.

Micheala said: "I'm very excited to be teaming up with littlewoods.com to get kids back outdoors. As a wildlife enthusiast and mum of an eight year old, I know just how important it is for kids to spend time outdoors. Children need to be brought up with a connection to their natural environment, not just a virtual environment.

"Whether it's the garden, local park or woods, there's always plenty to see and do, and it's always the simple activities like creating a den, making a daisy chain or rolling down a hill that can be the most enjoyable. The Treehouse of the Year competition is a fantastic initiative to inspire kids' creativity outdoors and most importantly, have fun. I can't wait to see all the entries so kids, get outdoors, get creative and use your wild imagination!"

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