A survey has suggested that children no longer know how to use their imaginations for make-believe games.
The survey, conducted by Galt Toys, asked 1,000 parents about imaginative play, it showed that 99 per cent of those asked believed children needed time for imaginative play. However, six out of ten parents suggested that children are not given enough time and space for this type of play.
The survey used April Fool’s Day as a measure of children’s imaginations and noted the decline of imaginative play, with fewer practical jokes played on parents than ever before.
55 per cent of parents said they had never had a joke played on them by their children, while more than a third suggested that this decline was down to a lack of imagination. However, 60 per cent of parents thought that children just preferred watching television or playing computer games.
It was suggested that some parents focus more on ‘skill packing’ without realising that imaginative play can be just as important for learning. The research showed that 70 per cent of parents feel under too much pressure to develop their children, accounting for the drive to increase children’s skill set. More than one in ten parents even admitted that they prefer their child to always be learning and not ‘just playing’.
Managing director of Galt Toys, John McDonnell, Commented: “It’s very sad that there is concern about whether children are being given enough opportunity to use their imaginations as this is a crucial tool for learning and sensory development”
McDonnell continued: “Playing imaginary games helps children to try out new experiences and scenarios by using different parts of their brain and creates a safe environment for exploring different aspects of the real world. Above all it is a lot of fun.”