Dutch kids encouraged to play outside today in national campaign

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Children playing (Photo: Immanuel Giel/Wikimedia Commons)Children playing (Photo: Immanuel Giel/Wikimedia Commons)

All kids in the Netherlands are encouraged to play outside today for the ninth edition of "Play Outside Day", initiated by organization Jantje Beton and children's channel Nickelodeon, NU.nl reports.

To encourage kids to play outside, activities are organized around the country by parents, community groups, schools and the kids themselves. Nickelodeon is also not broadcasting any kids' shows today.

According to spokesperson Yvette de Vries de Loos, this Play Outside Day is becoming increasingly important. "Playing outside used to be very common, but nowadays its no longer something that just happens. One in five children do not or only once a week play freely outside. 80 percent of children do not exercise enough." she said to NU.nl. "Outdoor play is essential for growing into a balanced adult. It is good for motor development, self-confidence, creativity and concentration and performance at school."

Everyone organizing activities were encouraged to register them on the Play Outside Day website, so that kids can check what's going on in their area. The organization thinks that about 90 thousand kids will play outside today.