Modern-day childhood is seen to have many positive attributes: there is more awareness of children and young people’s needs, most benefit from higher living standards and increased attention is paid to their rights. Many children and young people have access to technologies and consumer goods that enable them to take up opportunities and communicate in ways that were not available in previous generations. But there is also a sense that contemporary children and young people are missing out on experiences that are seen to be integral to childhood. There is an ongoing perception, often profiled in the media, that there has been a ‘death of childhood’ and that children and young people have missed certain important positive experiences that are associated with being young (Fenton, 2006). The extent to which children play outdoors is often used as a barometer of contemporary child wellbeing in these debates. It is suggested that today’s children do not play outdoors to the same extent as in previous generations.
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