92% of children have changed their playing habits as result of the pandemic

Charity, In Kind Direct is distributing over 100,000 products to children as new research from Save the Children and Beano Brain shows how the pandemic has drastically changed their social and physical interactions, with 51% playing outside less* and 34% playing alone more than before*. 

As restrictions lift, getting back to ‘normal’ is simply out of reach for many families and children, who are lacking the funds and resources to reconnect with friends and family, play sport, visit attractions and play outdoors. At the same time, Oxford Brooks University research** highlighted that lockdown restrictions have had a detrimental impact on children in particular, as reduced play and more sedentary behaviour has the potential to damage their long-term development.

In response, In Kind Direct, the UK charity that distributes large scale donations of products to charitable organisations, has set its sights on supporting Save the Children and the #SummerOfPlay initiative aimed at helping children get mentally and physically active this summer. At its heart it aims to give children the summer they deserve.

Anita from Home-Start North West Leicestershire notes: “Children need to access to play, both indoor and outdoors, which has been much harder since the pandemic hit as lots of children we support have been stuck inside. Access to outdoor play and socialising with other children is vital to help children develop and maintain social skills. Using products distributed by In Kind Direct will enable us to facilitate play this summer.”


Over 100,000 products have been donated to In Kind Direct so far, which they will be distributing to the 7,000 UK charitable organisations in their network across the summer. Products include arts and crafts, board games, stationery, lunch boxes, backpacks, jigsaws, books, toys, sports kits, balls and outdoor play equipment – all to support schools, charities and community groups with their holiday activities and aiming to address the startling statistics:

  • Almost a quarter (23%) of children revealed they’re playing less sport and being less active than they used to be
  • 77% of charities in In Kind Direct’s network are seeing declining health and wellbeing in their areas
  • 76% of respondents from In Kind Direct’s charity network report people they support are feeling increasingly  isolated and lonely***

In Kind Direct has joined forces with a number of incredible donating organisations and brands such as; Flying Tiger Copenhagen, PZ Cussons, TCC Global, Micro Scooters, Amazon, Mitre Sports and Hasbro - all have generously donated a wide range of products that will have an incredible impact and enable charitable organisations to do so much more across the summer holidays.

Activity specialists MerlinJunior Adventures and Big Game Hunters, have also donated generously, offering free placements at theme parks, opportunities to attend activity camps and chances to win outdoor play equipment – helping to boost physical and mental wellbeing at a time when it has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rosanne Gray, In Kind Direct CEO, comments: “It’s heart-breaking to see the statistics of how much the pandemic has impacted children’s mental and physical development. Not having access to simple pleasures like a football or puzzles which many families take for granted has stopped many kids from being active and social. We cannot let this pandemic continue to impact physical and mental wellbeing for our younger generation, which is why we are encouraging any businesses with products or services to donate and make a difference over these summer months.”

If you are a manufacturer, retailer or supplier and want to donate contact:

Charitable organisations seeking donations, and wider products from In Kind Direct can register via: