Two gadget addict kids put on their roller skates, climb trees and build dens to give us their verdicts on playing outside

SCHOOL is out for summer but many kids will be glued to their gadgets instead of enjoying the great outdoors.

A depressing new survey reveals that half of the nation’s primary school-aged children have never climbed a tree.

We got Madison, 9, and Ethan, 10, outside so they could rate different activities out of ten. Madison said she loved frisbee and is  going to play it again when she gets the chance
Olivia West – The Sun

Sixty per cent haven’t built a den or flown a kite and over a third haven’t learned to ride a bike.

The poll by Keep Britain Tidy — commissioned as part of Love Parks Week — also found that three-quarters of five to 11-year-olds have never learned to roller skate or used a pogo stick.

Half had never made a daisy chain or played frisbee and two-thirds hadn’t hunted for insects. But how can we encourage kids to tear their eyes away from screens?

We asked two tech-obsessed youngsters to head outdoors.

Nine year-old Madison Barnes, from South London, had never done ANY of the above activities.

Fortnite addict Ethan Culliford, ten, from North London, had ditched cycling for gaming. They rate the activities out of ten.


Ethan rated Frisbee 10/10. He said: “I had a lot fun playing with the frisbee. It was a challenge catching it.”
Nick Obank – The Sun

Tree climbing

Ethan gave tree climbing a rating of 6/10 but the scrapes down his arms were a down side
Nick Obank – The Sun
Madison gave tree climbing a rating of 10/10 and described it as her new favourite thing. She also said that she is going to teach her little sister how to climb trees too
Olivia West – The Sun

Pogo stick

Ethan gave the pogo stick a rating of 10/10 as it was his favourite activity. He said:  “I absolutely loved that. It was great to bounce around.”
Nick Obank – The Sun


Madison gave rollerskating a rating of 9/10 despite being scared when she first started. She said that once she realised it was safe she got into it.
Olivia West – The Sun

Den building

Ethan gave den building a rating of 7/10 but said it was hard to find good sticks and branches
Nick Obank – The Sun
Madison gave den building a rating of 9/10. She said: “It is a bit like building a den at home, but this time you’re outside and you’re using sticks.”
Olivia West – The Sun

Insect hunting

Ethan gave insect hunting a rating of 2/10 because he only found an ant and got his hands dirty
Nick Obank – The Sun

Kite flying

Madison gave kite flying a rating of 9/10. She said: “I had never flown a kite before. It was fun to see it go up as I ran about. It was very colourful.”
Olivia West – The Sun


TV’s Bear reckons it’s a necessity to have fun

TELLY adventurer BEAR GRYLLS says there are a few things all kids should do before they turn ten.  He says: “We only get one childhood, so make it count. Get out in the sunshine, get out in the rain.

“Learn how to start a fire and put it out. Make things. Share things. Find out where you fit in.  If someone shows you how to do something, listen. Practise. Get good, then pass it on.”

Bear shares his top ideas
Getty – Contributor


What better place to daydream than a treehouse? Just put up a platform. You’ll need the help of an adult with some tools. Choose a sturdy tree and seek the owner’s permission. Then install the beams. Now add the platform decking of wooden planks and make sure they are securely fastened together.

Remember to use a spirit level!


Head to the woods — who knows what you will find? From pine cones and mini- beasts, to leaves, sticks, stones and pieces of Anglo Saxon gold, bring back your haul and start identifying it.


You might not find a chest of sunken gold, but there’s a fortune to be found just lying beneath the sand at your local beach. Ask an adult to lend you a metal detector and keep a watchful eye. Be patient and methodical, walking up and down in lines, as if you’re cutting the lawn.


One of the easiest ways of identifying trees is by their leaf shape.In the right season, fruits, nuts, seeds and flowers can help. Look for common deciduous trees such as oak, or evergreens such as pine and holly.


You don’t need to travel to the Amazon rainforests to get close to nature. Next time you’re at the beach, explore the ecosystems that live in rock pools at low tide.

Did you know that the average age of a starfish is 35, that they can grow back a lost limb within a year and that they have no brain?

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