Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Persil New Kids Today Project and Giveaway



Emily aged 6 describing the London Eye for the Persil Kids Today



Persil, curators of ‘Dirt is Good’, has launched The Kids Today Project to show that hands-on experiences are not nice-to-haves, but are in fact critical to every child's development.

They asked me if I wanted to share their findings and it set me to thinking.

I remember playing in the dirt on hot sunny days, climbing trees making dens, splashing in puddles, my children were encouraged to do the same. I know many parents who agree, but I also have seen may parents with high expectations of their children, homework and tutors.

Persil's research*with over 1,000 mums in India, Indonesia, and the UK with children aged between five and twelve reveals:

  • A third of mums (38%) think their child’s week is busier than many adults’
  • Just under two thirds (62%) of mums think their children are busier than they were at the same age
  • A quarter of mums (24%) worry that their children cannot cope with everything they have to deal with on a daily basis
  • Over half (54%) of mums feel torn between ensuring their children learn enough skills so that they will succeed as adults and allowing them time to just be children

Hollywood described by children for Persil Kids Today!


Parents are witnessing the importance of hands-on experiences too:  95% of British mums believe that play is essential for developing different life skills.  They also:

  • Say their children spend less time outside than they would like (56%)
  • Say their children go outside less than they did as a child (75%)
  • Would like their child to spend less time on computer games (56%)
  • Wish their children would spend more time playing (35%)
  • Wish their children would spend more time on leisure activities, like sport, music and hobbies (34%)


I was keenly aware that expectation to do well was pushed quite a bit at school, SAT's, exams, the schools sending performance reviews, Paige found it alarming, she was often worrying last thing at night and I was annoyed as the pressure we tried to lighten from us as parents, was undone quite often. Conor like me was stubborn and the pushing, made him dig his heels in and learn less.

You only live once and childhood is fleeting, we all say it, but I think its important to live it, breathe it and get down on the grass, roll about and watch the clouds, make mud pies, pond dip. My belief for now as an adult as much as for a child.

Paige is now at Uni, of her own choosing, Conor is happy with his job. No pressure, Paige said she put enough on herself and always could feel less stressed after talking it through with me, then we would play, indoors or out.

They had a childhood, I am glad, I hope and think I made the right decision to let them, well just let them be!!


Castles as described by children for Persil Kids Today!


Persil commissioned BAFTA award-winning Director, Rupert Edwards, to shoot six films that show the world from a child’s perspective – incorporating a unique approach to filming directly through a child’s eyes.  With over 222,000 views to date, the films have clearly touched a nerve of parents across the country.

New research* conducted by Persil to go alongside the films highlight the changing pressures on children and how they experience modern day life.



Unilever’s Persil Brand Manager Marloes Garben comments:  “Learning and developing doesn't only happen in the classroom.  That is why we are launching the Persil Kids Today Project – to show that learning happens through life experiences; whether that’s getting mud stained at the playground or seeing a beach for the first time! We’re encouraging mums to watch the films online and sign up to the Wonder Pledge, making a small promise to uncover more everyday life experiences with their children.”

World leading Cognitive Neuropsychologist, Dr Ashok Jansari, who advised on the project says; “This project shows that childhood development is about moments spent with family and friends exploring the great outdoors.”

Jansari continues; “Experts now identify these moments as developing ‘executive functions’ – the skills which allow humans to communicate. Most commonly developed through self-directed play and social experiences, allowing children to develop these executive functions is of vital importance, not only to parents who want their children to be happy and successful, but to society that wants to produce a successful workforce for tomorrow. This all goes to prove that life experience- and dirt- really is good!”

Find out more about the Persil Kids Today Project by watching the films at www.persil.co.uk/kidstoday or join the conversation with #KidsToday.

Do you feel the pressure to push your children towards schoolwork more than play, do you think it comes from other parents, schools, the media? Are you surprised by the survey results?

I would love to hear what you think and to help the conversation, I have three bottles of Persil to give away.

Just fill in the Rafflecopter and have your say below!


139 comments:

  1. I agree with your points! I spent a lot of my time playing out as a child. We lived (and still do) by the beach and were always playing by the waters edge or my dad took us in his boat. We are not far from the countryside either so went out walking loads and on picnics too! My kids to similar now and if we go out for the day - hand help computer games, iPods etc are left at home! I think the fresh air helps keep them healthy and they sleep better too!

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    1. I don't push my kids too hard with school work but always make sure they do their homework. I think there is far too much pressure put onto kids at school with Sats etc - they should be allowed to play and be children! No wonder there are so many teenage pregnancies as I think kids are under pressure to grow up too fast!

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  2. Great giveaway! I've entered. I played out a lot when I was a kid, and I enjoyed it all!

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  3. Agree with your points. Good for children to explore outside and learn new things
    (kim neville)

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  4. Christine Shelley7 May 2014 at 16:50

    Its hard, I ,ve had to push my kids as they come from a disadvantaged background and I know how hard the world is out there without qualifictions, but we made sure they have had lots of fun and life skills too to ensure they can have the best start possible

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  5. Think its fab to have the kids out side exploring , much better than having them sitting around the house x

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  6. we were always outside when we were younger we had lots of space to explore and run around but the same area now is houses, houses, houses nothing else. i live near a huge park so we r in there most dry days with the kids to have time out and about having fun.

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  7. The findings don't really surprise me, I think/hope that my son and I have the right balance (for now). We spend a lot of time out doors but because he's only in school 2 1/2hrs a day I do homework with him somedays (just tracing letters and teaching him phonics). He's only 3 1/2 but I try to educate him without him realising a lot of the time, for example when we're out and about I will tell him facts about animals we come across, I will describe the differences in seasons and how we can see the signs of different seasons in nature. Learning doesn't have to be stressful, it can be fun too :)

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  8. I would love my boys to play outside more. Climb trees, long jump muddy puddles, make tents from sticks and a sheet. The kind of things i did, but things have changed. I struggle to get the kids outside.

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  9. My son isn't at school yet so he has no pressures at the moment. I let him do whatever he wants in 'his time'. We also have 'our time' where we go for walks, play in the garden, do painting/drawing, reading etc.. I really do believe in letting kids be kids. Not every child likes to play football- mine doesn't, and not every child likes to sit still and read- mine does! As he gets older I will support him in the things he wants to do, whatever it is. With regards to exams all I will ask is that he tries his best :)

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  10. I agree with your points. I believe allowing children to play together outside is invaluable to social development. My children are aged between 11 and 31 years and I have learnt that pushing children too hard does not pay off, they will be what they will be :)

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  11. I think its essential that children get to go out to play and explore. My kids play out most days

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  12. fab prize would like to win

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  13. I agree with you. It's just a pity that Michael Gove doesn't!

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  14. Children must be allowed to play with other children in a safe environment, it is essential for their development. However, I can understand that todays parents may have other demands on their time and may not feel comfortable letting their children play unsupervised, so prefer to keep them indoors where parents feel that their children are safest. The media and television report horror stories of children being abducted and worse which makes the majority of parents feel that the worldis a very unsafe place for their children if they left them alone to play with other children and that makes most parents want to be even more protective. Unfortunatley, most parents do not have the luxury of having the time to supervise their children playing with other kids and there is always the fear of being wrongly labelled a child abuser if another persons child gets hurt or worse while a parent has other children in their care. This is such a sad reality of modern times and we as parents are stunting our own childrens emotional, cognitive and physical health in the process of trying to protect our own offspring. This is causing more harm, and storing up more problems forour children in later life. As parents, we are all ultimatley to blame for the sad outcomes we see.

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  15. My children like their gadgets but they are just as happy to go out - surprisingly it's my 15 year old who gets out and about most, on a cycle track near home.

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  16. stacey turner7 May 2014 at 19:27

    i agree with your points :)

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  17. fantastic giveawy i have entered

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  18. I agree with everything you are saying - children need more opportunities to get out and play !

    Ashleigh

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  19. Children should have he opportunity to be outside, playing and exploring in a safe environment. To learn life skills. It worked well for me!

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  20. children need to learn from their surroundings

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  21. Have to say children need time to be children as well. OK be good at school, but there is time to play as well. I loved school but always had time to go out and do "childhood" stuff. We were allowed out (OK it's going back a few years when children were safe most of the time - not so many weirdos about then) and we stayed out until it was dark (after homework/tea of course). Took our parents longer to work out which friends' house we were at. :)

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  22. great giveaway. :)

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  23. debbie godbolt7 May 2014 at 21:06

    hi compared with my childhood when it was safe to play out with not so much traffic and everyone looking out for children playing down our road and the neighbours knowing each other so a safe and free to play environment
    i feel kids of today are limited far more than i was and so i feel that there is more need today for free expression through safe play, to be able to explore and use their imaginations.
    there is plenty of time for learning at school and there are far to many pressures on both children and parents to perform these days and i think thats sad x

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  24. 75% of kids are not going out like they used to well thats worrying,i was out all the time so i couldnt imagine them not being out

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  25. I have entered k believe it is important to get out side and explore and create games that just cannt be played indoors

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  26. I believe that children should play outside and mix with other children I've entered

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  27. I agree with most of Persils and yours, my grandson isn't interested in any sport and
    I don't understand some of his homework

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  28. It's all about balance really, isn't it.

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  29. Great prize your giving away

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  30. It drives me crazy when my two prefer to play indoors but then I grew up with parks within walking distance whilst our nearest is 2 buses/trams away

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  31. I agree - Outdoors is always my first choice - Hey we even have fun in puddles in the rain!

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  32. The roads are so busy now. I don't want to let my kids out of the garden area on their own. So that limits them to where they play.

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  33. playing outside and getting dirty is party of being a child and I'm lucky that I have plenty of open spaces that can take them but I do keep a close eye when out

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  34. I agree, far too much pressure is put on children now - they need to play and experience rather than live up to teacher's targets and 'school performance'. At a very early age my son was pressured by school into reading and had to do so much each night for homework. I remember trying to get him to read whilst he was nearly falling asleep so his homework would get done and he wouldn't get in trouble at school. Now that has turned him against reading and he will not pick up a book to read for leisure, which is a terrible shame. He is very good academically now at nearly 15 but you have to draw a balance as they need to enjoy their childhood and its memories.

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  35. I leave all the washing till morning!!!! I hate mornings ;)
    Spencer Broadley

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  36. Outdoor play and explore is vital, but equally vital is too ensure that the kids are in a safe environment.

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  37. kids need to be out doors more getting muddy, climbing trees.. none of this tv computer lark

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  38. I do agree with your points about kids not having too much pressure put on them and there definitely is these days from the media and other things, but groups and clubs can be great for socialisation. My niece was so unhappy and bullied but since she joined a dance club she is a different person, happy and bubbly with a new set of friends. I think its all about moderation

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  39. My daughter is shattered every evening and that is just nursery. Makes me feel guilty that some days I just sit at my desk quietly drinking cups of tea all day at work!

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  40. I think I'll raise my boy pretty much the same way my wife and I were raised, we turned out ok! Studies are all well and good but I don't think it'll change our parenting much.

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  41. I think the answers in the initail survey sum up how I feel too.

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  42. It's good to play outside and when I was young I used to be out all day on my bike riding miles all on my own and I loved it!

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  43. Although times have changed, I still believe in old school there was nothing better than roller skating, skipping, bike riding, hide and seek, catch and throw, visiting the park, long walks with everybody's dogs (their parents used to take a pack of us!) Sometimes the parents just have to join in and it's so much fun.

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  44. Unfortunately as the mother of tw kids both with potentially heart conditions ( which killed their father and grandfather at 24 years and 37 years respectively) I do not let the kids play out, I would rather they were at home where I can see them at all times, which if the truth be told is a bit of a pain at times but their health and safety is uppermost in my mind.

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  45. As a kid growing up in the mid 80's, I played 'Bulldog' at the local youth centre (I her this is now banned due to the game involves physical contact!!) hill rolling,mud pies etc. My games in that era involves lots of imaginery play and creativity which is something that I feel has been taken away from kids today via modern toys.
    As with my own child I feel that his happiness is much more important than anything else. I 'encourage' him academically but I certainly do not push him and of course children learn heap loads through play which I feel is the most enjoyable way to learn :)

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  46. Hi, I would like to be entered please.

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  47. I agree children dont have time to be children x

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  48. Wonderful giveaway, entered :)

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  49. when i was a child-we lived for the school holidays,i know it sounds a cliche-but the street lights really were our hometime,we played in the park and camped in our gardens with friends,the grubbier the better,knowing we could have a lovely bubble bath at the end of the day,society has made our children nowadays grow up far too quickly,my own youngest-who is 16,is into his gadgets and computers,and unfortunately,the youths of today,have meant it's not safe to be out at the local parks now,as they often used as drugs dens by older teenagers-i wish he could have had the carefree days that i enjoyed.

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  50. I grew up in the country, went outside after breakfast and only came back in when I was hungry (or it was bedtime!) My kids now are growing up in a city and its a very different story for them. They can go out in the back garden but I cant let them out the front as the road is just too busy.

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  51. Absolutely agree, sounds just like mine!!

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  52. I actually feel that my kids do less at school than I did, but I do aim for balance and as teenagers a healthy social circle with aspirations for their future

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  53. i feel like there are so many pressures and changes and they don't have time to just be children and enjoy it

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  54. dawn Wilkinson10 May 2014 at 15:29

    Childrens lives are pressured nowadays because of parents expectations. If we as parents did not feel that we 'should' provide many structured activities - rushing on a Saturday between gym, swimming, music, ballet, horse riding, football and many others we would spend time with our children or they can just play with their friends. One or two activities are good and healthy but if a child has every evening and weekend morning/afternoon filled they must feel exhausted. If the parent had the same schedule as many children they would complain that they did not have any 'me time'. Give our children time to be bored - that is often when their imagination is stimulated.

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  55. Great giveaway!

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  56. i used to play in the woods with my friends every day and i think i learned alot about life, i always try and take my children out to theme parks, walks, camping, visiting family etc and block the xbox so they actually do have fun out with their friends lol

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  57. I agree that children need time to play

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  58. Thanks, I've entered :-)

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  59. Learn through play is extremely important.

    Rachel white

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  60. I feel that I should push my son to do extra work as the teacher is expecting it! But I think my son needs time to play outside and learn things for himself.

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  61. I must admit I dread my son playing outside sometimes due to the mess his trousers will be in when he returns. The number of trousers that have had to be made into shorts due to knees being worn through is quite high!

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  62. My son is very outdoorsy - fresh air is great for them and we should encourage it! - Kay Broomfield

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  63. Pressure is put on the kids at school and also the parents expected to listen to reading, revise spellings and practical projects. As a grandparent it's much easier for me as we don't have those direct demands. However instruction can be disguised in play and experiences. Digging in the garden learning about nature. Walking by the roadside and observing/guessing car makes etc., Making things - weighing/measuring, cutting, gluing sticking. Playing darts, scrabble, cards. All are fun and help. Acting out stories. It's probably more fun for me than them. hey ho!x @Egran2many

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  64. a lot of pressure is put on children these days. they have to do this and that or they are below the national standard levels.
    my daughter who turned 3 in march could go to the local nursery attached to the school she will attend. they have to wear uniform and they will have a structural learning plan. I feel this is too much for a 3 year old, so I have decided to leave her in the nursery shes currently in. Children are in school enough years, they have to learn through play too.

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  65. I'm unsure about these new housework stats. It's because when one is out they don't see what the other half is doing at home. Also can we still use washing up liquid to refill the bubble tub when we play outside? Bloody health and safety.

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    1. May I enter too please. Went off a bit there.

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  66. Please put me in the draw xx

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  67. I think children do have a lot to cope with, my nephew has homework every day. I don't remember having homework ever day even at high school.

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  68. i am an obsessively clean and tidy person so never liked my kids getting dirty as they are always immaculately dressed, silly really as kids should have fun

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  69. My kids do spend some time outside most days but when they are in the house it is very difficult to get them off of their computer games. We exercise together as a family each week at Taekwondo classes and try to get out and about with them each weekend but it is difficult due to our ridiculous work commitments.

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  70. Kids spend much less time outside as there are always safety concerns....but at home they like to play in the garden and at weekends we always try and get out and about whatever the weather :)

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  71. The findings don't surprise me at all! My 3 have all gone through big stages of being attached to their Xboxes as if it was their lifeline, it's difficult to know what to do

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  72. WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE AS KIDS!! BUT NO TECHNOLOGY HAS TAKEN OVER

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  73. great giveaway .i have entered :)

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  74. I Have Entered

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  75. Great giveaway

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  76. I definitely think kids play outside less and do less outdoor activities. But I think as parents we have a role to show them how great outdoors can be encourage them to enjoy it more such as going on nature walks, bike rides and camping.

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  77. I think its great for children to play outside. I never mind if my kids get filthy - they wash!

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  78. I agree, Ry seems super busy and when I was a kid I recall just mucking about. Computer games and the internet made a big impression on my teenage years!

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  79. love this giveaway my hubby would be happy lol
    lisa ann tebbutt

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  80. Children NEED to play outside! xx

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  81. i agree we were always outside as kids building dens or in the fields playing rally hoo or kick the can

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  82. Fab prize. Thank you x
    claire.bob23@hotmail.co.uk

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  83. Our 2 (girls) climb trees a lot. We recently overheard a mum saying to her child (a boy of about 9) that it was too dangerous for him to have a go. We need to let children play

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  84. I have entered as well :-)

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  85. Thank you, have entered.
    When I was little I played outside all day long in summer but it's just not safe nowadays with more crime and traffic.

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  86. I have enerd

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  87. We shouldn't be afraid to let kids be kids, dirt and all

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  88. I remember playing outside but learning about the wild flowers and insects at the same time, I had to take my little encyclopedia with me, I had a wonderful time.

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  89. I was always playing out as a kid, kids these days are far too mollycoddled and cottonwooled.

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  90. I think a lot of children have too many organised activities these days and aren't given a chance to just chill and sometimes even be bored.

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  91. played out when i was a kid. used to live on a farm. was fantastic.all that freedom and fresh air

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  92. I don't think that children do play out as much these days, but then if we had al of the gadgets they do now - would we have? We try to encourage outdoor play with friends as much as possible and my children have after school and weekend activities to attend. On Sundays, we try to have a family day out that often includes walking and more play. It's sometimes not easy and sometimes commitments get in the way (theirs and ours).

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  93. I always played outside and rarely inside. My Grandma cared for me and they had animals & hens so I although I felt I was playing I was also working! I loved being outdoors, I ate well and slept well, didnt mind being dirty or in in "playing out" clothes. as I got older we played on "the little hill"... it was a place for teenagers to do what teenagers do. Even when I was courting we took the dog for walks and visited my Grandmas rather than being indoors. In the long holidays I would go out in the morning and not return until tea-time, unfortunately children today can't do this, especially in the Uk (as opposed to my sister in Australia who felt it was safe for her children to play out in the woop woop.

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  94. I believe that children should play outside and mix with other children

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  95. I think it's really sad when I see parents taking on too many activities for their kids to do. I know some families who can't do anything on a Saturday all together because one child is doing football, the other is doing dance and the clubs both threaten to throw them out if they miss too many sessions. That's not a family life. But, joining clubs is important too, kids learn from others around them, it helps them be organised with their time and keeps them off the Xbox!!

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  96. totally agree with u its good to do activities but not too many whats wrong with fresh air walks n parks?

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  97. Interesting read! Children should be encouraged to be more active, I don't have children of my own yet but I'm a teacher and experience kids in my classes of all activity levels. A lot of kids could be happier if they were more active :)x

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  98. It's essential for kids to play outside, I used to play out alot myself until I got a Nintendo!

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  99. Playing outside and exploring is really important

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  100. Katarzyna Szewczyk31 May 2014 at 10:07

    Hi. Entering.

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  101. I hardly see kids playing out in the street the way we did as children. I would spend all day out going from one friend's house to another and then the park. No way I'd ever let my son do the same though at the same age - which is very sad.

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  102. we have a large garden so i encourage kids to get outside and not stay cooped up..but agree pressure is heaped on them

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  103. great giveaway I've entered

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  104. I agree with you. When I was a kid I was always outdoors, it's good for children to be away from technology for a bit and out in the outdoors. I have been visiting my niece this week and we spent a lot of time outdoors looking for geocaches.

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  105. Entered, love to be outdoors with the family xx

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  106. My boys are 6 & 4 and both at school. I don't feel particularly pressured although we do always get our school work done by it's due date. They are children!! They need to be running around outdoors playing. x

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  107. You have to get out and a bit dirty - my 3 year old would be outdoors 24/7 if he could :-)

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  108. Nothing surprises me about the results! Fortunately my lot love being outdoors.

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  109. champaklal lad31 May 2014 at 22:28

    i have entered

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  110. Surprises me the mums think their child's life are busier but sure that because of actives rather then actual work :)

    @oneisjamie

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  111. Definitely agree, kids should be playing outside.

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  112. I must say things have changed a lot, and not for the better! I want my son to play outside more, its good for them, sunlight, fresh air, exercise! However safety is an issue. You just have to teach them the dangers and let them go, not always easy to do though! x

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