6. Opportunity to take part in positive activities to thrive

A healthy balance of time use is as important for children as it is for adults. The need for a balance that suits the individual needs of children means that they should be actively involved in decisions about how they spend their time.

  • Children who do not have access to a garden or local outdoor space to play in are over three times more likely to report low well-being than those that do.
  • Nearly a third (30%) of children who were not satisfied with any of the main uses of their time (with family, friends, to themselves, being active, doing homework, helping at home) had low well-being, compared to only 1% of children who were satisfied with all six of these aspects.
  • Choice and autonomy is vital for well-being in all aspects of children’s lives. Children who have greater deprivation of experience, for example no access to a garden or outdoor space to play, experience lower levels of choice than other children, compounding lower levels of well-being. Those children who lacked four experiences and items from our child-centred index of material deprivation are also four times as likely to be unhappy with their level of choice.