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Too Busy to Play? What Families Are Missing Out On

Dr Elena Hoicka, Senior Lecturer in Psychology in Education at the University of Bristol, says: “While many parents feel their children’s preference for digital play is getting in the way of what they see as better, typically more traditional activities, the truth is the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. More than previous generations, kids today see the digital and real worlds as part of one big, interconnected play space. To make the most of their time playing together, parents need to adopt this fluid mindset too.”

The power of play to help children learn is indisputable for parents. Almost all (95 percent) believe play is essential for children’s well-being and a vital educational tool. Four in five (82 percent) think that children who play more will be more successful in future studies and work.

Parents also rank playful learning (76 percent) as the number one educational technique, over reading books (67 percent), classroom teaching (55 percent), interacting with friends (65 percent) and surfing the Internet (22 percent).  More importantly, four in five (83 percent) children agree they learn better when play is involved.

Adults and children equally feel the benefits of playing together. Parents say play is good for their own well-being (91 percent) and happiness (72 percent) and that it even helps them feel more relaxed (86 percent) and connected to their children (64 percent). Almost all children surveyed say play makes them feel happy (93 percent) and helps them relax after a long day at school (87 percent).

Inspired by the findings, the report suggests 10 principles for families to consider when playing together. These include encouraging less structured play, embracing mistakes and gamifying household chores.

It is noteworthy to mention parents engaging in digital play with their kids. Many digital games are available that kids and parents can play together. Kids love technology and it’s a great way to play with their parents online.

Julia Goldin, LEGO Group CMO, says: “The beauty of play is that it evolves and changes with each generation, yet its benefits remain constant. This report shows that digitalisation is providing more opportunities for immersive play. We will continue to evolve LEGO play to seamlessly integrate digital and physical experiences for kids to ensure that they can continue to benefit from playful learning. Play continues to be essential for children and we have a role in helping parents to provide the best possible experiences for their kids and to protect and prioritize play time.”