Discussion | Outside Play

Over the next few weeks our Monday blogpost will be focusing on getting outside. To get the ball rolling we start with this article sent to us recently which proved a very interesting read. It really got us thinking. We love playing outdoors with our little ones, but there are many modern day factors that may hinder this. For example children’s homework, commitments to school or extra curricular activities. That’s before we mention screen time or computer games. 

We’ve previously mentioned London Play on pocketnannies – a scheme to get children playing outside. The following article relates back to London Play perfectly as it talks about the fun we can have outside. We look back on our experiences as children with happy memories of playing in the street, having fun outside, playing with a hoop or hopscotch – things that maybe seen as old fashioned games these days. You can read our interview with London Play here.

There are some staggering facts in the following article:

  • 56% of parents cite time spent playing outdoors amongst their fondest childhood memories
  • 69% of parents today say their children spend more time playing indoors on tech.
  • Top memories for parents include building dens, playing in the park and seaside trips.


CHILDREN in 2017 are risking missing out on key childhood memories due to an over reliance on indoor play, according to new research.

  • Over half (56%) of British adults reveal that their fondest childhood memories were made whilst exploring and socialising outside, according to a survey of 1,672 UK adults by garden and conservatory furniture e-tailer Alfresia.co.uk.
  • Despite this, over half of parents (58%) in 2017 reveal that they regularly have to battle with their children to get them outdoors, suggesting the next generation are likely to be missing key memories from their own childhoods.
  • Indeed, 24% say their children ‘rarely’ play outdoors during their free time.
  • For many this is due to the overuse of technology, as 69% of British parents believe their children spend more time playing indoors on computer games and technology than embracing nature and the outdoors.
  • Just 9% believe their kids would play outdoors even while it was raining, compared to almost 1 in 5 parents (19%) who claim they would have done so when they were children.
  • The outdoor activity that evoked some of the strongest memories for British parents was building dens, which was cited as a favourite for 68%.
  • This was followed closely by playing in the park (65%) and trips to the seaside, which was remembered fondly by 57%.
  • Other top childhood outdoor memories include playing games like hide and seek, hopscotch and tag (56%) and participating in ball games, such as rounders, tennis and football (52%).
  • Playing in the paddling pool was a memorable pastime for 49%, followed by enjoying picnics (45%), having water fights (41%), embarking on camping trips (38%) and having barbecues (31%).
  • More than 1 in 3 adults (35%) remember regularly pleading with their parents for extra time to play outside with friends and 44% stated that they preferred playing outside over being indoors during the summer holidays.


  1. Building dens – 68%
  2. Playing in the park – 65%
  3. Seaside trips – 57%
  4. Outdoor games – 56%
  5. Ball games – 52%
  6. Playing in the paddling pool – 49%
  7. Picnics – 45%
  8. Having water fights – 41%
  9. Camping trips – 38%
  10. Having barbecues – 31%

What are your most memorable outdoor activities? How do you get your children playing outside? 


© pocketnannies 2017


Nic Jones, head of digital at Alfresia.co.uk said, “It’s great that such vivid and long-lasting memories can be created for children simply through outdoor play. These are recollections that we will take with us into adulthood and cherish for years to come and a lot of them involve doing things that are free“.

However, sadly many children today seem to be missing out on these long-lasting memories that are created through enjoying outdoor experiences. For many families, the vast range of technology they have at their fingertips is a reason to stay indoors, however there is so much to embrace through outdoor activities and play. Simple games such as treasure hunts, feeding the ducks and splashing in puddles can bring such happiness. Of course, indoor games and technology have their benefits and can also be a great deal of fun, but there is no harm in getting wrapped up and heading off for an outdoor pursuit come rain or shine.”

Alfresia.co.uk sells a wide range of garden and conservatory furniture to enable families to enjoy their gardens via its website. Alfresia.co.uk was founded in 2004 in the UK, and is part of a family run business that has been established for over 50 years. It sells a unique range of garden and conservatory furniture, cushions, barbecues and outdoor heaters perfect for the garden or patio via its website.

*Survey sample of 1,672 UK adults.

Image source.


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