PARENTS

Britain's 'Over-Scheduled' Kids Have No Time To Be...Kids!

14/08/2014 16:59 | Updated 20 May 2015

Kids bored in a car journey

Britain's kids have no time to be, well, kids – because they're so busy with after-school commitments.

A new survey says children have even less free time than their parents because they're 'over-scheduled' with homework, after school clubs, tuition, and catching up on social media.

This is leaving them with no spare time to 'simply be children'. Now a project has been launched with the aim of allowing kids to be kids.

The Persil Kids Today campaign aims to encourage the nation's children to go back to traditional fun activities like climbing trees, riding bikes and playing in the park.

A spokesperson said: "The Kids Today Project shows learning doesn't just happen in the classroom and that life experiences, whether that's getting mud stained at the playground or climbing the tallest tree, are crucial to development."

Independent psychologist Dr Ashok Jansari said: "This project shows that childhood development is about moments spent with family and friends exploring the great outdoors.

"Experts now identify these moments as developing 'executive functions' - the skills which allow humans to communicate.

"Most commonly developed through play and social experiences, allowing children to develop these functions is of vital importance for a happy, well balanced child."

The survey found that 90 per cent of mums of five to 12-year-olds believe their children are already being prepared to 'succeed as adults', while 86 per cent believe kids are growing up too quickly.

Many are enrolled in after school activities like language classes, tutoring, music or sport as well as breakfast clubs and weekend activities.

Added to this is the time many youngsters spend in front of a screen, from researching their homework to updating social media accounts to playing computer games.

Parents said their children spend, on average, 2.1 hours a day in front of a screen, and 58 per cent of them would like to see their kids reading more instead.

Nearly four in 10 parents think their children have less free time than they, themselves, do as adults. And six in 10 think children today are busier than they were at the same age.

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