Kinder launches campaign to support families who enjoy spending rewarding time together outdoors
Parents and their children are spending more time together than at the beginning of the decade, flying in the face of current perceptions of modern family life, according to research by Kinder (1).
According to the latest data, the amount of time parents spend with their children has risen by 26% since 2000 – and the trend is set to continue (2). Over three quarters of parents (76%) say spending time with their children is their number one consideration when making lifestyle-changes, according to the findings by Kinder.
It is with all this in mind that Kinder has partnered with the Woodland Trust to launch the Kinder Garden Project – an initiative aimed at encouraging families to spend more time together outdoors learning about nature.
The Kinder survey also revealed that the majority of parents said that they would like to further increase the time they currently spend with their kids by up to eight hours a week – an additional average working day every week. Furthermore, one-in-six parents (16%) would choose to spend more time with their children if they could make just one lifestyle change.
The research found that the number one activity that brings families together is time spent outdoors. Whether playing in the park, planting and weeding in the garden or just going for a walk, being outside appears to universally provide families with opportunities to bond. A significant 96% of parents said they wish they could spend more time doing outdoor family activities such as flying a kite, feeding the ducks, having a picnic and collecting leaves.
Increase/decrease in time spent on day-to-day activities of parents aged 25-44 since 2000:
Activity +/- %
Taking care of the children + 26%
Doing household chores – 28%
Sleeping – 4%
Working – 5%
Watching TV – 4%
Travelling + 2%
Eating + 1%
Dr Elizabeth Kilbey, chartered clinical child psychologist, said: "Praise, affection and, above all, spending time with your child are often the most effective forms of reward or treat and really help to manage a child's behaviour. Being outdoors playing and learning about nature together really is a fantastic way to do this. Often parents turn to material things to treat their children but often it's time together that makes all the difference. It may sound trite but in this case, the best things in family life really can be free."
Watching TV and DVDs also ranked high amongst current family activities with almost two thirds (65%) of respondents claiming that they watch the box together. Interestingly, however, a majority of 82% do not consider watching TV a treat for their children.
Dr Kilbey continues: "It's heartening to see that parents are turning away from the remote control to spend time together as a family. Being outside is not only fun, it provides an atmosphere in which kids are encouraged to question and to think. It is both rewarding and educational for them and the blissful thing is they don't see it as a lesson."
The main barrier to families spending more time together is household work with nearly two thirds of parents (62%) citing washing up, cleaning and laundry as the most time-consuming chores. Nearly half of parents (47%) said that their job is a hindrance to spending time with the kids and a further one in five (20%) claims that the daily commute to work eats into precious family time.
Shaun Nixon, spokesperson for the Woodland Trust says: "We are delighted to be a part of the Kinder Garden Project. Anything that gets people outside, enjoying green spaces and learning about nature should be applauded. We are seeing more and more parents literally going back to nature so we hope we can inspire a few more to get out there."
More about the Kinder Garden Project
Kinder and the Woodland Trust have created 1,500 Kinder Nature Kits to giveaway free of charge to the first 1,500 families that register on the Kinder website. Each will contain a tree sapling, a set of children's gardening tools, planting information and a tree leaf swatch. Simply visit www.kinder-uk.com to enter the free giveaway (3). Each Kinder Nature Kit is worth £30.
Additionally, for every Kinder Nature Kit that's given away, Kinder has pledged to plant a tree with the Woodland Trust. This means that Kinder will plant up to 1,500 trees in Woodland Trust sites, creating three acres of brand new woodland across the UK for future generations to enjoy. Kinder will donate £5 per tree to the Woodland Trust.