More than a third of parents struggle to get their children outside - because they can’t get them off their devices.

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Parents are keen to get their children into the garden during the summer break, but half admitted they face a struggle to tear them away from their screens.

And 53 per cent said a lack of Wi-Fi connection in the garden is another reason for kids getting stuck inside - as they want to carry on playing video games and streaming content.

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But the poll of 1,200 mums and dads, with school-aged children, found 48 per cent are also reluctant to let their youngsters venture outside because of concerns over their safety playing unsupervised.

Wasting their outdoor space

As a result, nearly half (48 per cent) feel they aren’t getting the most out of their outdoor space.

The research was commissioned by connectivity provider TalkTalk, which has partnered with futurologist Dr James Bellini, to predict how families will be using their outdoor spaces differently in the future.

Dr James Bellini, Technology Futurologist and Historian of the Future, said: “Creating another room in your garden is a great way to maximise space for the family.

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“With the switch to flexible working over the past few years, there has been a surge in people creating offices in the gardens.

“But there are so many other buildings like treehouses, sheds, and Wendy houses that families will soon be tapping into.

“From creating a technology games room, to an outdoor cinema - these spaces will be given a new lease of life, unlocking additional entertainment and play spaces, without the costly expense of a purpose-built building.

“TalkTalk’s Total Home Wi-Fi add-on leverages eero devices to extend your home Wi-Fi into outdoor spaces. It’s a fantastic way to future proof your family home.”

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Desperate to get kids outdoors

The study also found 26 per cent of parents feel their home is crowded when kids are off school, leaving them desperate to get them out into the garden.

More than seven in 10 (72 per cent) believe having decent Wi-Fi al fresco would encourage children to play outdoors during the summer holidays, and make their homes feel less overcrowded.

But seven in 10 have an outdoor building such as a summer house, shed or treehouse, with 57 per cent saying they would use it more if it had an affordable WiFi connection.

And 53 per cent reckon they would work outside more often if they had a stronger outdoor signal.

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Three in 10 of those surveyed, via OnePoll, would like to stream movies for an outdoor screening, and 25 per cent would set up Wi-Fi-enabled security cameras in the garden to monitor youngsters if their internet was better.


1.    Connected Wendy houses, treehouses, garden sheds – creating mini tech hubs for gaming, streaming etc.

2.    Wi-Fi enabled baby monitors which allow kids to play safely in the garden, whilst parents go about their work.

3.    Pop up cinema screens – why squeeze onto the sofa when you can spread out on the lawn?

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4.    Virtual babysitters will now be able to extend the fun and games into the garden.

5.    The endless possibilities for educational kids’ games – e.g. nature trails with the ability to look up insects and plants from special apps.

6.    Intelligent barbecues that provide cooking tips and tell you when the food is perfectly cooked.

7.    Vegetable beds which will alert you when produce is ready to be picked.

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8.    Virtual reality-based school classes, which could feature Dinosaurs and volcanos emerging from your back garden.

9.    Reactive sunshades that move with the sun.

10.   Algorithms which play music to suit weather and atmosphere.

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