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03rd Apr 2024

Startling figures suggest 60% of school kids prefer gaming over outdoor play

Sophie Collins


School kids reportedly prefer gaming over physical play

In a world where screens dominate daily life, it’s no surprise that gaming is increasingly edging out physical play among school-age children.

According to Steffan Black, an expert at Zenshield, nearly 60% of kids aged 6 to 13 now prefer video games over traditional outdoor play.

This startling trend is now raising important questions about the future of childhood development and the balance between digital engagement and physical play.

The Rise of Gaming Culture

Once considered simple entertainment, video games have evolved into a cultural phenomenon, offering immersive experiences that captivate young minds.

Unlike traditional play, digital games provide engaging content characterised by intricate storytelling and complex problem-solving.

A study cited by Mr. Black found that 78% of children enjoy games because they offer exciting challenges and adventures that you can’t find in the real world.

Gaming platforms have become global social networks, allowing children to connect with friends and meet new people from around the world.

Data shows that 65% of kids feel more connected to their peers through online gaming, fostering a sense of camaraderie through team sports.

The Appeal of Digital Play

The research suggest that one of the key reasons for the popularity of video games is flexibility and comfort.

Unlike outdoor activities, gaming is not weather-dependent and does not require specific gear.

A survey mentioned by Black revealed that 72% of kids appreciate the convenience of playing games from the comfort of their homes.

Balancing Act

While digital entertainment offers numerous benefits, striking a balance between screen time and physical activity is essential for healthy childhood development.

To achieve this balance, parents and teachers should apply strategies to limit screen time and encourage outdoor play, such as:

  1. Limit gaming time: Establish clear boundaries around screen time for recreational activities. Experts recommend no more than two hours per day.
  2. Encourage outdoor play: Promote regular physical activities such as biking, hiking, or team sports. Aim for at least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise daily.
  3. Emphasise the benefits of physical play: Educate children about the importance of physical activity for their health and well-being. Emphasise the joys of outdoor play and social interaction.

Steffan Black explained the importance of maintaining a balance between digital and physical play, and said that while technology offers unique advantages, it’s crucial not to overlook the timeless pleasures of traditional childhood activities.

Looking Ahead

As technology continues to advance, it’s clear that the digital entertainment will remain a significant aspect of childhood experiences.

However, embracing both digital and physical play can ensure that children develop into well-rounded individuals.

Ultimately, childhood should be an adventure that combines the best of modern technology with the timeless joys of outdoor exploration and play.