4media group recently worked with technology giant Microsoft, for a campaign promoting and encouraging the participation of extra-curricular activities for children, which consisted of both research and broadcast elements.

Joining us in the studio to discuss the findings further was education and outdoor play expert and former deputy head teacher Cath Prisk, and Gilly Binks from Microsoft.

The Campaign

New research of over 2000 UK parents of school age children (5-16) has found some surprising admissions when it comes to the importance of creativity and after school activities.  

Parents nowadays place equal importance on creativity, imagination and outdoor play as traditional ‘numeracy and literacy’ – with 89% of those surveyed stating that out of school activities are as beneficial for children as a day at school. 84% of parents agree that ‘creativity and imagination’ is as important for a child’s development as literacy and numeracy’. 

Thirty-eight per cent of parents believe that activities such as a day at a museum or gallery, a day of outdoor play (35%), a cultural holiday (33%), an adventure holiday (31%), a day at the zoo or farm (30%), and a day exploring a new area (27%) is just as beneficial as a day at school.

According to the research by Microsoft, the average child in the UK does 1.9 extracurricular activities a week – peaking at 7-8 years old when children do 2.3, whilst 15-16 year olds do the least (1.5).  

The research also found that 80% of children are now using the internet to help with real world and outdoor play. For example, 31% use it to find out more about animals or insects they have seen, 28% look up nearby activities they want to try, and 27% research countries they will be visiting. 


The coverage for the campaign was brilliant with 14 broadcast interviews secured, including 4 BBC radio interviews (BBC Tees, BBC Cambridgeshire, BBC Shropshire, and BBC Leeds) as well interviews with UCB, Capital FM Yorkshire, Capital FM North East and more.


Coverage Highlights