It is not that American children aren't allowed to play outside enough, it is that American children choose to stay inside and play video games all the time. And the parents have a hard time stopping them, with all the hours both parents have to work in this modern economy.
I do think American children are "allowed" to play outside enough. And I agree that children benefit from playing outside. I think that what we perceive as a lack of American children playing outside is not due to much to what they are and are not allowed to do, but more of a general lifestyle change in our country. Kids spend more time on electronic devices, thus keeping them indoors more. Parents feel our country is not as safe as it once was, so while many of us grew up roaming around outside, parents today feel fearful at the idea of their own children doing the same. The only thing stopping our children from playing outside is us.
Playing outside is important to a child's development, and builds a sense of independence and trust. Sadly, many parents think they cannot even let their child play in their own backyard without supervision. With the news blaring out cases of child kidnappers, parents are afraid to let their children outside. If they know the area they live in is safe to play without much supervision, then let children play!
Recent studies have shown that one of the ways children are best able to learn is through play. Children who are playing outside develop creativity and the ability to relate while with others in a free environment where they are not being stimulated by a screen and having other message subliminally thrust upon them. Children who play outside also significantly increase their level of physical activity which leads to a healthier child and ultimately a healthier society.
The only times I see kids playing outside anymore is when they are walking home from school. There might be times I see the neighborhood kid play outside for about 20 minutes, a couple of times a week.We Used to play outside for hours, if not the whole day, everyday. I am not sure if it is the parents keeping them in, or if it is just technology keeping kids in.
Schools essentially function to teach children how to obey orders and function in a non-living, unnatural environment. Ideally, children, and people in general, would spend the majority of their time outside, at least during favorable weather, in order to maintain their relationship to the natural world. Much knowledge has been lost by the severing of this connection, to the detriment of both the human world and the natural world.