Today, German children spend 25 percent less time outside than their parents. In an independent survey, Kamik, the outdoor shoe specialist, found that it is above all regular schedules that prevent children from satisfying their natural urge to move and explore things in nature. With the initiative Free Play Outside, Kamik now aims to counteract this trend.

Children of today’s generation are increasingly exposed to recreational stress and play outside less and less. This was the result of an independent study by the Canadian outdoor boot manufacturer Kamik. A total of 750 mothers of children aged 3 to 12 from Germany, Canada, the USA and Norway were interviewed in the survey conducted by the market research company Ipsos on their playing habits during childhood and on those of their children. The aim was to measure their attitude to free play outdoors in comparison to their children and to determine the generational differences in outdoor activities among young people.

Recreational stress among children

The study results show a negative trend that has prevailed in Germany for several years: children spend less and less time playing outdoors. Of the German mothers surveyed, 58 percent stated that they played outside every day during their childhood, whereas only 33 percent of their children do so today. The reason for this is simple: According to the study, children between the ages of 3 and 12 regularly engage in an average of four leisure activities per week. With such tight schedules, there is hardly any time left for free play outdoors. Although children spend less and less time outdoors, Germany ranks first in a direct country comparison with an average of 11 hours a week of free play in nature. In the USA and Norway, children spend 9 hours a week outside, while in Canada it is only 7 hours.

Enabling children to have a creative break in the countryside

To counteract this, Kamik has launched the global initiative Free Play Outside. This initiative is intended to encourage families to go outside more often and give children more freedom to play. Prominent German face of the initiative is the actress and presenter Nina Bott. “As a child I always loved to spend the whole day outdoors. There I collected memories that accompany me all my life. It’s exactly this experience that I want my children to have – just go out and experience the adventure, the fun in nature,” says Bott.
Kamik’s global initiative calls on parents around the world to give their children a creative break in the countryside without stress or appointments and to share this in the social media under the Hashtag #freeyourplay.

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Link: Initiative Free Play Outside of the outdoor shoe specialist Kamik 

Image: FatCamera / istock