Kids want freedom and bikes, says new survey

When asked which activities they'd like to do more of, 54 percent of children picked cycling.
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When asked which activities they'd like to do more of, 54 percent of children picked cycling.

Dairylea cheese commissioned childrens' play expert Tim Gill to write a new report on what children are doing with their time (mostly playing on digital devices) and what they might rather be doing (many want to keep playing on their digital devices but most want to get outside on bikes).

Gill was the director of the Children’s Play Council (now Play England) from 1997 to 2004.

Dairylea commissioned a survey to go with Gill's report. 1000 children, aged 5-11, were asked about their playtimes, or lack thereof.

Now, while it's easy to dismiss PR surveys - especially one commissioned by a processed food brand - the fact that Gill is putting his name to it is significant. He has spent 15 years championing childrens' right to play.

When children were given a choice of activities that they would like to do more often, the most popular choice (chosen by 54 percent of children) was to play on their bikes, or scooters or skateboards.

The Dairylea Simple Fun report highlights the value of taking a simpler approach to play, and the steps that parents, and society as a whole, can take to ensure that today’s children have a healthy diet of childhood experience. The processed food brand has started a Facebook-led Dairylea Campaign for Simple Fun.

Gill said: "My report shows that children today lead much more complicated lives than their parents did when they were young: lives that are increasingly dominated by technology and social, media and academic pressures. Yet what children and parents want is the chance for children to have some some simple fun: to be with their friends, play games, get out of doors and have the chance to choose for themselves what they want to do."

For more information of getting kids on bikes, see BikeHub's long and detailed article 'Cycling is safe for kids, no need to wrap them in cotton-wool.'

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