With the Christmas countdown on, research from IKEA reveals that children are hoping to find traditional toys in their stockings this year and to spend more quality time with their parents.

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

With the festive period upon us, and thoughts turning to Christmas stockings full of gifts, research from IKEA reveals that children will be hoping to unwrap traditional presents this year.

The survey found that 44 per cent of eight-year-olds suggest they prefer to play like their parents did, picking creative arts and crafts over computer games. However, despite this move towards more creative play, busy parents are still finding it difficult to make time for play, with 42 per cent admitting that cleaning takes a priority over playing with their children.

The research, released to celebrate the IKEA Soft Toy campaign, which supports UNICEF and Save the Children, showed that children are seeking a bygone era with traditional toys and crafts increasingly featuring on Christmas lists this year.

Carol McSeveney, UK and Ireland Children’s IKEA Manager, said: “We believe children are the most important people in the world, which is why we support UNICEF and Save The Children with our yearly Soft Toy campaign.”

The findings suggested that creative play activities, such as painting, baking and drawing, are more popular than watching cartoons or playing computer games, with over a quarter (27 per cent) of 7-10 year-olds picking arts and crafts as their favourite pastime.

Furthermore, 79 per cent of the parents questioned said they thought creative play was important for their child’s development; despite this 23 per cent admit they prefer playing computer games with their children when they have the time, rather than creative activities.

Will Paxton, Head of Education Policy and Advocacy at Save the Children said: “It may just seem like a bit of fun, however creating a stimulating environment with opportunities to play and learn is vital for young children’s development.  It means they will be more likely to start school ready to learn and it stimulates creativity.

“Thanks to money raised from the IKEA Soft Toy Campaign, Save the Children has been able to run a number of education projects which help children around the world get the start in life they deserve.”

Sport is the next most popular activity that parents pick to play with their kids, with 22 per cent saying they prefer this. But contrary to what the children said, just one in 10 parents say arts and crafts is their top choice.

A third of parents say they only allow their children to play messy activities such as painting or baking twice a month or less, listing the lengthy cleanup process as the main reason for not allowing this type of play more often. Of these, three per cent of parents say they never let their children get messy during playtime.

Michael Newsome, Director of Individual Giving at UNICEF UK says: “We are truly grateful for IKEA’s tireless support in helping us be there for the world’s children. Every child should be able to go to school and get an education so they can fulfill their potential in life and realise their dreams, but millions across the world are still missing out.

“IKEA is a vital support in helping us to achieve our goal in educating the next generation, allowing children to reach their full potential no matter where in the world they live.”

Until December 23rd, customers will have the chance to give twice by donating any IKEA soft toy to local children’s charities. By purchasing any soft toy in store, customers can then choose to donate it at the till, offering them a chance to support local children whilst helping to support education programmes for children all over the world.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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