And the number of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder seems to be rising all the time.
But one cunning inventor has worked out a way of putting all this pent up energy to good use.
He has invented a see-saw that generates electricity as children play on it. Just five to 10 minutes on the unusual contraption can light a room for several hours. Surplus power is stored in an underground unit and can be used at any time.
The device was dreamt up by Daniel Sheridan, 23, a design student at Coventry University, after a trip last summer to help build a school in east Africa.
He said: "The number of children we saw there who loved to play and their energy and vibrancy got me thinking it would be great if I could make use of this," he said.
And if the see-saw project works out, we could see a whole range of playground equipment that taps into children's kinetic energy.
The design may have been inspired by a small African village, but with electricity prices rising, it could prove a hit in UK schools.