By Allison Sadlier // SWNS


The average parent thinks their child could only keep themselves occupied with unstructured play outside for 32 minutes before boredom sets in.

Results of a survey of 2,000 parents of children five to 13 revealed that less than half (48%) of parents estimate their child could entertain themselves outdoors without structured play from a game or companion for just 30 minutes. 

One in two parents worry their kids don’t have the same level of imagination that they did in their own youth and technology might be to blame.

The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Claritin showed two in three respondents think technology makes growing up harder than ever.

The parents polled reminisced over their own childhoods and about three in four claimed it was much easier to make friends in their day just by going outside and playing in their neighborhood instead of kids today having to contend with social media.

Parents surveyed (72%) believe their family doesn’t spend enough time outside, and when their kids do go outside, 49% of parents report that their kids find the outdoors boring. 

One in two (48%) say they barter TV or computer time with their kids in an effort to make them explore the outdoors.



Parents confessed their kids aren’t the only ones not embracing nature since seven in ten (72%) admitted their family as a whole doesn’t go outside enough, although nearly two in three (63%) said their kids seem to be happy after playing outside.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents estimated their family spends less than half of their quality time together out of the house.

While weather-related preventions like rain (44%), snow (41%) or humidity (41%) naturally deserve part of the blame for lack of outdoor time, other more neighborhood-specific elements can keep kids from getting out – like the one in four (23%) who complained of a lack of friends in the area.

Catherine Vennat, a spokesperson for Claritin said, “our survey shows that kids are happy after playing outside, but the challenge parents face is having the tools to motivate their kids to get outdoors for play time. That is why Claritin has launched The Outsideologist Project, which provides expert-guided activities to inspire a love of the outdoors and aims to get 1.2 million kids to spend an extra hour outside per week.”

Since last year, kids have been getting into the great outdoors more, according to 65% of parents polled. They have also found fun pandemic-friendly activities everyone can enjoy.

Forty-five percent have taken a dip and gone swimming with their kids, while 43% have taken up the ultimate pandemic trend and gone hiking as a family. 

Forty-two percent have encouraged their children to embrace their green thumbs with a bit of gardening while two in five (42%) have gotten their cardio exercise in with outdoor sports like soccer.

Vennat added, “because the survey also uncovered that 70% of parents shared that if seasonal allergies were less of a concern, their family would spend more time outside, we believe everyone deserves to reap the many benefits that come with spending time outdoors.” 



  1. Planning family outings 53%
  2. Trading computer or TV time for outdoor play 48%
  3. Walking the dog together 44%
  4. Providing outdoor toys 43%
  5. Coordinating playdates with friends or other families 42%
  6. Coordinating sports events 39%
  7. Planning nature-oriented vacations 28%
  8. Sending children to summer camp 12%
  1. Swimming 45%
  2. Hiking 43%
  3. Outdoor sports 42%
  4. Gardening 42%
  5. Lawn games 38%
  6. Skiing, snowboarding, tubing 36%
  7. Camping 31%
  8. Boating 31%
  9. Picnicking 25%
  10. Running 25%
  11. Horseback riding 24%
  12. Biking 22%
  13. Visiting a playground 21%
  14. Nature photography 14%


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