Parental fears and busy schedules are found to be leading contributors as to why parents say they struggle to get their kids outside to play and reduce the amount of time spent in front of a screen. This finding, announced today, is part of a nationwide survey on how kids play by EnviroKidz — North America’s largest organic kids’ breakfast and snack brand by Nature’s Path. To help kids capture the lifelong health and social benefits of outside play, EnviroKidz has launched a new outdoor nature discovery program called “ecokeepers™” (envirokidz.com/ecokeepers). Free to schools and camps, it complements science and physical education curriculum by blending tactical hands-on discovery with geocaching — a modern-day treasure hunt that uses GPS on smartphones to find hidden caches.
Of the parents surveyed, 94% say they would like schools to help their kids get outside and discover nature. The free ecokeepers program delivers on this need and can be easily adapted into existing school and camp programs. Suitable for both urban and rural schools, ecokeepers can be used in nature trails, local parks, schoolyards and city neighborhoods. Adds Mahaffy, “When you look, kids can find nature anywhere.” Each ecokeepers program kit includes: 12-page, passport-sized explorer guides for kids to capture their observations, a geocache to customize and hide, parent resources plus EnviroKidz organic peanut-free bars to help support a healthy snack break while on their journey.
“Playing outside in nature is critically important for kids’ development. Research shows it improves everything from problem solving to cognitive ability to social relations,” says parenting expert Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions. “Between screen time and the busy schedules of both parents and kids, today’s children are spending less time outside and missing out on this fun and beneficial part of childhood.”
Looking into how kids play, the Nature’s Path survey, which polled 525 U.S. moms (ages 25-45) with children under the age of 13, revealed that:
- Today, 81% moms indicated that their kids have adult supervision when they play outside compared to 37% of moms when they were kids
- 54% of moms say their kids spend more time playing in front of a screen than playing outside, while 11% say their kids are not interested in playing outside and 11% said their kids would prefer to play on an electronic device
- 35% of moms cite fear of letting kids play outside alone, 22% are too busy juggling other priorities and 15% say they do not have the time to supervise outdoor play
- When they can, 58% of moms do try regularly get their kids outside to discover nature; however, 94% agree it’s important that schools also help kids to discover nature.
I received a free kit to sample and this is a great kit! It included:
1 x Official Medium Geocache with Logbook & Pencil
– Ecokeepers program materials: 3 activity books for kids, 1 x parent’s guide, 1 info sheet
– 1 x GPS trackable ladybug
– 6 boxes of EnviroKidz Peanut Free Bars
– 7 x Free Product Vouchers ($35 value)
– 1 x EnviroKidz Choco Chimps Lunchbox
EnviroKidz recently launched the industry’s first peanut-free, organic and gluten-free granola and crispy rice bars for kids. Available in four flavors — Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Berry Blast and Strawberry — the bars are packed with gluten-free rolled oats or wholegrain brown rice to provide lasting energy for kids while they’re on the go and enjoying nature. EnviroKidz donates 1% of all product sales to help support animal conservation and education. To date, the company has donated over $2.6 million dollars to animal charities around the world.
My son’s favorite is the Chocolate Chip! I like that they are a healthier snack! I love the kit because it’s great for motivating kids to go outdoors!
For more information about ecokeepers, including how teachers and kids’ club coordinators can receive a free kit and parents can download a free activity guide, visit: http://www.envirokidz.
Self Disclosure: I received a free kit to facilitate this post. Photos/info and video was provided.