A recent survey has involved over 1000 parents and has shown that an aspect of childhood might be being lost to today’s generation of children. The research has shown that many parents believe that the children are not as able to utilise their imaginations as much as they were able to in the past.
Practically all parents think that children need time to engage in imaginative play but unfortunately 60 percent of the parents surveyed showed that they felt their children were not achieving the right level of this kind of play.
Interestingly, this year’s April Fools’ Day highlighted the children are perhaps suffering a greater lack of imagination than they might have in the past. This year it was estimated that the number of April fools played by children on their parents fell to its lowest point for many years.
Many parents associate this lack of imagination with the fact that their children are playing too many computer games, or watching too much television.
John McDonnell Managing Director of Galt Toys which conducted the research said, “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.
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 lots of fun.”
Some parents focus more on ‘skill packing’ without realising that imaginative play is just as important for learning. The research also shows that 70% think parents feel under too much pressure to develop their children, which accounts for the drive to increase children’s skill set. Some parents (more than 1 in 10) even admitted they prefer their child to be always learning rather than ‘just playing’