With Memorial Day weekend the unofficial start of summer, many parents are probably starting to worry about how they’ll keep their kids entertained. It turns out, kids have some big ideas about what will make their summer perfect.
This summer should include five pool parties in the backyard, three road trips and five trips to the beach — if you leave it up to the kids.
A survey of 2,000 parents polled both them and their children, aged 5–14, and asked kids what their ideal summer would look like. Turns out, it’ll be a busy schedule full of play.
On average, kids want more than eight hours of playtime each day, but if that’s not enough, 23% would also like to book in 10+ safe playdates with friends.
Commissioned by The Genius of Play and conducted by OnePoll, results found the average child would also include three trips to amusement parks in their plans and have five new toys to play with.
With the ongoing pandemic, some of these dreams might need to wait until next year — or even further in the future — but kids understand: nine in 10 said it’ll be a great summer, even if they don’t get to do everything on their list.
And 91% of parents said they’re doing everything they can to make this summer special for their child.
Luckily, they don’t have to try too hard. When asked what they’re looking forward to most this summer, having time to play was kids’ top choice (59%).
If it were up to them, the average child would like to play for a little over eight hours per day.
Over the course of a typical summer break from school, that adds up to just over 26 full days spent playing, or a whopping 624 hours.
In addition to having time for play, kids are looking forward to spending time with their family (58%) and, of course, not having to go to school (51%).
Parents seem to be aligned with these desires, and 90% agreed that after an incredibly stressful year, play is the No. 1 thing children need this summer.
“Parents said that they are prioritizing two things for their kids this summer: family time (78%) and playtime (62%),” said Anna Yudina, senior director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association, which spearheads The Genius of Play. “To help make their summertime wishes become a reality, we invite families to check out www.thegeniusofplay.org for tons of games and activities that will keep kids and parents happy and having fun all season long!”
The survey asked parents what benefits they see from play, and results found 71% believe play can help children grow.
In addition to that, 65% said play encourages children to be active/physical, and the same number said it can help children learn to be more independent.
Rounding out the top five benefits of play was how critical it is to helping children regain/maintain their social skills (63%) and getting children outside (60%).
Ninety-one percent of parents said their fondest memories from childhood summers focus on play — but it’s not only for children.
Results found 90% are looking forward to playing with their child this summer, and 89% said they learned to appreciate the importance of play and leisure time for adults over the course of the past year.
As part of that, seven in 10 parents said they picked up a new hobby or leisure activity — something just for fun — over the past year.
“There is no age limit on play, and research shows that playtime has a positive impact on adults as well as kids,” added Yudina. “In fact, 84% of parents in our survey said that taking time to play makes them more productive at work.
Research has also linked playing to greater life satisfaction and lower stress levels in adults. We hope this information will motivate parents to play more – whether through their own personal hobbies or by spending more time playing with their kids!”
WHAT ARE THE TOP BENEFITS OF PLAY, ACCORDING TO PARENTS?
Play can help children grow 71%
Play encourages children to be active/physical 65%
Play can help children learn to be more independent 65%
Play is critical to helping children regain/maintain their social skills 63%
Play helps get children outside 60%
Play helps restore emotional balance 55%
Play gives children a sense of normalcy after virtual/hybrid school 52%
Play helps children learn to communicate 45%
Time an average child would like to spend playing:
8.11 hours per day x 7 days per week = 56.77 hours per week
56.77 hours per week x 11 weeks in summer vacation = 624.47 hours, or about 26 days