Children are having their development stifled by parents and
other adults who are stopping them from playing outdoors.
Eighty per cent of children said they have been told off for
playing outdoors, while half (50 per cent) say they have been
Two-thirds of seven to 16-year-olds questioned by The
Children’s Society said they would ideally like to play
outside daily. But a quarter of those aged between 11 and 16 were
threatened with violence and a third of younger children said that
being told off stops them playing outdoors.
Of those aged between seven and 11, 46 per cent said they were
told off by parents and 15 per cent by neighbours for playing on
the street. Some 28 per cent were told they were “making a
noise” while a quarter were told they were a
A spokesperson for the charity said: “Playing outdoors is
a fundamental part of everyone’s childhood, but that is being
threatened by a culture of intolerance towards children’s
play in public.”
The charity said it had also found evidence of increasing
restrictions on children playing in public spaces and a growing
number of bylaws against skateboarding, cycling and ball games.