Kids move away from gadgets to craft toys

Recent research that has been carried out by the popular furniture store IKEA has shown that this year children are favouring traditional toys over high-tech gadgets when it comes to gifts.

Over 40 percent of eight-year-olds have been shown to prefer crafts over computer games, and this is complemented by a figure of nearly 80 percent of parents who believe that this sort of creative play is essential to the development of their child.

The research indicates that this year the number of traditional toys that are going to be purchased by parents of children is going to increase dramatically. They also estimate that the number of computer games that are going to be given to children is going to decrease.

The research has been released in conjunction with a new range of toys that are being released by IKEA that are going to encourage children to engage in traditional play.

However, despite this move towards more creative play, busy parents are still finding it difficult to make time for the more involved or messy activities, with over a third (43%) saying the house chores eat into play time with their children.

Over three quarters (79%)of the parents questioned said they thought creative play was important for their child’s development, despite this 23% admit they prefer playing computer games with their children when they have the time, rather than creative activities.

Sport is the next most popular activity that parents pick to play with their kids, with 22% saying they prefer this. But contrary to what the children said, just 1 in 10 parents say arts and crafts is their top choice.

A third (34%) 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 a main reason for not allowing this type of play more often. Of these, 3% of parents say they never let their children get messy during playtime.

To encourage children to make the most of their enjoyment for creative play, IKEA is hosting a ‘Children’s Take-over day’ at IKEA Wembley on 11th November, parents can bring their children along for a day of fun and imagination, with IKEA covering the cleanup when they’re done, so mum or dad won’t have to.

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”.

“To celebrate the launch of this year’s campaign, we are inviting little ones to take part in the creative play day at our IKEA Wembley store so they can let their imaginations run wild.”

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 childrens’ 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.”

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.”

Parents can find out more information about the ‘Children’s Take-over day’ and to register you and your kids for a place, you can find more info via our Facebook page and registration site here: