Cowboys and Indians beat computer when it comes to play time

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Sainsbury’s has released new research that shows that ‘pretend play’ is the defining childhood activity of the last 50 years, uniting the generations.

The research, carried out among adults and children from across the UK, examined the favourite childhood activities of each generation from those born from 1940 onwards.

According to the research, which was carried out by Sainsbury’s Active Kids among children and adults across the UK, nearly half (45%) of UK parents and grandparents spend more time playing with their children compared to their own parents or grandparents. Yet despite this, 53% of adults still feel their children spend less time getting active than they did in their own childhood.

In fact, over a fifth (21%) of adults said they spent more than 20 hours playing each week when they were children, but just 7% thought their own children invest the same amount of time in play. According to adults, the majority of today’s children (29%) spend between 1 and 5 hours on active play each week.

Mark Given, from Sainsbury’s said: “This research shows that it’s the simple childhood activities than span the generations and old favourites are as popular as ever. Regardless of what children are playing, the most important thing is that they’re spending time getting active."

 The key statistics are:

  • Make believe’ continues to be the defining childhood activity of the last five decades
  • Today’s children prefer ‘make believe’ to spending time on the computer
  • 45% of adults spend more time playing with their children than their parents/grandchildren spent with them
  • Over half of adults said children spend less time on active play than during their own childhood
  •  Nearly a third of adults spent more than 20 hours playing each week during childhood
     
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