‘A generation growing up on screens’ as kids now spend less than 30 mins outdoors

Half the country’s children spend only 30 minutes or less playing outdoors daily, and many children have never climbed a tree or walked in a forest, a study has shown.

However, forest management organisation Coillte has a plan to introduce more kids to the great outdoors. Yesterday, it launched an after-school programme, Compass Club, specialising in outdoor skills for children aged six to 12.

Compass Club’s Shane Stafford said that, so far, more than 3,400 children have taken part in after-school clubs.

“Kids have simply had a ball learning in the outdoors and going home to build shelters in their back gardens,” he said.

The programme was developed with Godsil Education and will include scavenger hunts, campfires, and shelter-building.

“Children are missing out on the many positive experiences we had growing up,” said Emma Godsil. “We have a generation growing up on screens and missing out.”

A study showed nine in 10 adults believe children spend more time looking at screens than on any other activity, while more than four in five parents fear strangers approaching their children when they play outside.

Compass Club takes place in Coillte forests at 47 locations from September 19.

www.CompassClub.ie


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