Persil captures a fresh perspective on childhood

Persil has launched its Kids Today project to show what it’s like to be a child in the 21st century through a series of short films.

Being a child in the 21st century

Persil children flying kite on beach

The project commissioned BAFTA award-winning director Rupert Edwards and acclaimed documentary producer Jobim Sampson to make six films using the Persil EyeView camera. The head-mounted camera was designed to be worn by children and was created especially for the project.

The films, which were shot in the UK, Brazil, Indonesia and India, highlight the fact that many of the pressures facing children today are universal issues. Together, the films help adults to understand exactly why ‘dirt is good’ from a child’s perspective by showing how recreation and hands-on experiences are critical to every child's developmental success.

By seeing, hearing, touching and exploring the world around them, and by experiencing challenges and adventures, children become confident and adaptable adults who are able to work well with others, communicate their thoughts and feelings and solve problems.

The importance of hands-on experience in child development

Dr Ashok Jansari, a cognitive neuropsychologist who advised on the project, says: “Is child development only about qualifications and achievements? No. It is also about moments spent with family, interacting with friends and having free time.

“Experts now identify these moments as developing ‘executive functions’ – the skills which allow humans to communicate, behave in a socially appropriate manner, manage their emotions and perform high-level mental skills such as planning, decision making and remembering to do things in the future,” he says.

“Executive functions are most commonly developed through self-directed play and social experiences. Allowing children to develop these skills is of vital importance, not only to parents who want their children to be happy and successful, but to any society that wants to produce a successful workforce for tomorrow.”

Children face pressure to succeed

Research from the project also highlighted the pressure children face to succeed from an early age, which is leaving mothers worried that childhood is fast becoming all work and no play.

More than a third of mothers surveyed think their child’s week is busier than that of many adults while just under two-thirds of mothers think their children are busier than they were at the same age.

Meanwhile, over half of mothers feel torn between ensuring their children learn enough skills to succeed as adults and allowing them time just to be children while around a third say their child is often so tired that he/she behaves badly.

The project piloted in India, Indonesia and the UK in early March and will be rolled out globally later in the year.

Find out more about the Kids Today project: view the films and supporting content at:


Join the conversation at, and or on Twitter through #kidstoday

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