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Children playing with a ball.

The Essential Art of Unstructured Play

“Ang bilis ng panahon.” Growing up too fast’ is a phrase often applied to the kids of today – you may have even said it yourself. As parents, the world we grew up in and childhood experiences we had were vastly different from the things our children encounter.

This is worrying for us, but could it be that our own lifestyles and concerns for our kids are actually encouraging our children to grow up too fast?

The fast pace of today’s world can mean we have less free time to spend together with family. This means that when we do get family time, it is precious and predominantly spent indoors or in pre-planned activities that offer maximum bonding time.

Additionally, as urbanization spreads, there are fewer quality outdoor spaces for kids to run around freely and play. The lack of time and decent facilities for many families means today’s children are more likely to watch TV after their homework is complete, rather than play in the yard or park. 

To find out if the perception that kids are growing up too fast was shared by many, we spoke to 1500 mothers with children twelve years old or younger across ten countries.* We wanted to gauge mother's opinions of unstructured play and gain a true measure of their concerns. In collaboration with Yale University's Dr. Jerome Singer & Dr Dorothy Singer, the results of these conversations were analysed and published in the white paper ‘Giving our Children the Right to be Children.

Research shows that a worrying 1 in 2 moms (52%) across the world believe childhood as they know it is over, and 77% are concerned that kids today are growing up too fast. Moms also recognise that a lack of unstructured play and an increase in sedentary activities can impact their kids’ health:

Despite their daily internal struggles, moms want to overcome the obstacles to unstructured play so they can protect and reclaim ‘childhood’ for their own children and future generations by seeking out opportunities that reward their children with the benefits and exciting experiences of play. Maraming pwedeng laruin sa labas ng bahay! Maraming karanasan ang naghihintay!

Working with experiential play and child development experts, Breeze has created a bank of indoor and outdoor activities for your kids to learn and have fun with

*Interviews were conducted in United States, United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, France, Thailand, China, India, Turkey and South Africa.