A National Trust inquiry revealed children are losing touch with Nature as parents pamper their children and refuse to let them play out in the rain, climb trees and get dirty.
In a report, the charity has urged parents to give youngsters wellies and a raincoat and send them outdoors to build dens, make mud pies and go bug-hunting, the Daily Mail reported.
AdvertisementIt warns that children are increasingly leading 'sedentary and sheltered' lives due to health and safety fears, the rise of indoor entertainment such as video games and the decline of outdoor activities in school, the Daily Mail reported.
Parents are the most powerful influence over their children's exposure to nature and the countryside, the two-month inquiry concluded.
Interviews with groups of children found that many had picked up messages from their parents that the outdoors is dangerous and they shouldn't go out in the rain in case they 'slip or catch a cold'. Activities such as climbing trees were also seen as too risky.
Only older boys were regularly allowed out without an adult, with others closely supervised, according to the interviews conducted by research firm Childwise on behalf of the Trust.
According to the inquiry, grandparents can play a key role since they are likely to have spent more time outdoors as children and could pass this on to younger generations.
The National Trust inquiry, which canvassed the views of organisations and members of the public as well as children, also found that youngsters' time is 'over-scheduled and pressured' - often with activities that cost money.