Kids today, don't play outside much anymore. They are watching TV or playing video games. I think that they are losing some great creativity. When kids play outside, they are more creative. Back in the day, kids would come home from school, do homework and go outside to play.
There are several factors that have contributed to the demise of outside play over the years. More Moms working, more TV channels, video games, internet, safety and bad parents.
Years ago, there were more stay at home Moms but we didn't use the term "stay at home Mom". They were just Moms who didn't work. Kids could come home after school. They didn't need to go to a childcare facility or stay at after school care. Today more kids end up in after school childcare and don't get home until 6:00 or later.
Regular TV consisted of a few channels like, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX AND PBS. Children's programming was limited. Kids could find TV shows to watch only during certain times of the day. No one offered children's programming 24 hours a day. Now we have hundreds of TV channels for kids to watch everyday, all day.
Kids are spending hours everyday, playing video games. They are glued to a screen. Until recently, kids would sit in one spot and play video games. In the past few years, the video game companies have created games that require you to get up and move to play the game. Years ago, this time would have been spent playing outside.
The f*cking internet! The internet is the key to email, texting and Facebook. These things have sucked the life out of outside play. There are 1st graders with iPhones. I wrote earlier this week about the number of kids under the age of 13 who have Facebook accounts. These kids aren't playing outside if they are on Facebook.
This is a very sad factor. Some kids live in neighborhoods that are not safe, so they can't go outside to play. Back in the day, kids were able to play safely even in the worst neighborhoods.
Parents today tend to over schedule their kids. They want them to play every sport and every instrument. I am not against kids playing sports and instruments. There needs to be a balance. Parents need to reflect on their own childhood and not deny their children the opportunity to have simple fun like they did. Take your kid outside to play damnmit! Kids need unstructured outside play time. It fosters creativity. Sometimes kids just want to play and not think. Maybe they just want to run around. Every kid should have some unstructured outside play time every week if the weather permits. Parents, lets make it happen!
What ever happened to hide and seek, red rover, catching fire flies, red light green light, tag, jump rope, ring around the rosey, duck duck goose, freeze tag, capture the flag, four squares, kick ball and the other games you and your friends just made up on the fly?
What games did you and your friends play outside? Please share in the comments.
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Tags: After School, Child Safety, Children Playing Outside, Children's TV Programming, Duck Duck Goose, Facebook, Fire Flies, Four Squares, Freeze Tag, Hide and Seek, Internet, Jump Rope, Kick Ball, Outdoor Play, Outdoors, Outside, Outside Play, Parenting, Playing, Red Light-Green Light, Red Rover, Ring Around The Rosey, School, Stay At Home Mom, Tag, Television, TV