There is a lady who gets quoted a lot in the HTB parenting material called Sue Palmer. I did a bit of research and found her latest book “Detoxing Childhood; what parents need to know to raise bright balanced children” . It’s really good. Very down to earth and practical.
From her research, she says that given children are fed and watered, their top three needs are things like:
3) play – unsupervised, loosely supervised, outdoor social play.
She asks why children not getting these things? Her answer? Because they are all free! You cannot really sell them so we do not value them. Who is going to advertise them on TV?
She also says that “junk play” has suddenly arrived. Just like it took us a while to wake up to the harm that junk food can do we have not yet grasped how bad junk play is on children’s bodies and minds. What is junk play? She says it’s sitting in front of a screen interacting with the virtual world instead of the read world.
She has written a book “21s century boy” and there is one on girls coming out soon I think.
Here is a talk she did at greenbelt