Parents spend an average of 260 hours a year playing with their kids

PARENTS spend 1,300 hours – the equivalent of more than 54 full days – playing with their kids during their first five years, met 95 hours spent playing peek-a-boo and another 100 on hide-and-seek.

'n Studie van 1,000 parents with kids aged up to five found they spend an average of just under 45 minutes a day playing with their child – a total of 260 hours each year.

Parents spend the equivalent of 54 full days playing with their kids during the first five years

Parents spend the equivalent of 54 full days playing with their kids during the first five yearsKrediet: © 2021 Mattel Inc.

Over those first five years, 165 hours is spent on painting, drawing and creative activities, and another 185 hours are taken up with reading together.

While more than 187 hours are spent on imaginative play – an average of nearly 44 minutes each week.

Vergeet die sewe jaar jeuk 67 per cent of parents feel regular play sessions are ‘vital’ for their child’s development, met 69 per cent citing it as important for their child’s health and happiness.

Terwyl 53 per cent actively encourage their children to play because they believe it helps them “connect to the world around them”.

And four in 10 even believe it can have a direct impact on their child’s future success.

The research was carried out to launch a new play programme from Fisher-Price and Family Action, which aims to help parents and caregivers get the most out of play with their children by turning a session into a positive and valuable learning experience.

It also emerged almost seven in 10 (68 persent) see play sessions as a way to help their children express their emotions as well as benefiting their communication skills.

En 64 per cent reckon it helps them work towards reaching their key developmental milestones.

Lisa Lohiser, early childhood development expert at the Fisher-Price Play Lab, gesê: “The research has shown there is certainly the appetite there to help their children develop skills through play.

“There’s no right or wrong way to play as if you’re present and engaged with your child, you can’t go wrong.

“It’s a natural way to develop skills like problem solving, creativity, language and overall understanding of the world.”

The study also found one in 10 parents never seek out new information on the benefits of play, as they might for other things related to their child’s wellbeing, such as what foods they should be eating at what age or information around vaccinations.

En 56 per cent said they tend to let their children lead play sessions, volgens die OnePoll -syfers.

Maar 53 per cent sometimes struggle or find it hard to play, with being time poor, tired or lacking energy or creativity as the biggest barriers.

And nearly a tenth (eight per cent) feel too self-conscious or awkward, en 15 per cent don’t believe they’re imaginative enough.

Egter, 65 per cent would welcome help from child development experts, including information and practical ideas about giving their child what they need to get the most out of play.

Karen Woodcock, Early Years Manager at Family Action, bygevoeg: “You can’t underestimate the power of play.

But that power is only unlocked when we don’t try to turn play into work and instead recognise children’s instinctive curiosity and playfulness”.

The free Play Programme is available online from today and includes five modules that tackle the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of play and its importance for Early Childhood Development.

It intends to help grown-ups understand the role they can play and provides quick and simple tips and activities to do at home.

The first five years of play

PEEKABOO – 22 MINS WEEKLY – 19 HOURS ANNUAL – 5 YEARS = 95 URE

HIDE AND SEEK – 23.5 MINS WEEKLY – 20 HOURS ANNUAL – 5 YEARS = 100 URE

PLAYING DRESS UP – 26.5 MINS WEEKLY – 22.5 HOURS ANNUAL – 5 YEARS = 112.5 URE

PAINTING/DRAWING/CREATIVE– 38 MINS WEEKLY – 33 HOURS ANNUAL – 5 YEARS = 165 URE

READING TOGETHER – 42.5 MINS WEEKLY – 37 HOURS ANNUAL – 5 YEARS = 185 URE

IMAGINATIVE PLAY – 43.5 MINS WEEKLY – 37.5 HOURS ANNUAL – 5 YEARS = 187.5 URE

NURSERY RHYMES – 39 MINS WEEKLY – 34 HOURS ANNUAL – 5 JARE – 170 URE

DANCING – 35.5 MINS WEEKLY 30.5 HOURS ANNUAL – 5 YEARS = 152.5 URE

EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES – 42.5 MINS WEEKLY – 36.5 HOURS ANNUAL – 5 YEARS = 182.5 URE

TOTAAL 308 MINS WEEKLY – 260 ANNUAL – 5 YEARS = 1,300 URE