New Survey Finds Play is #1 on the List for Summer Plans
A recent survey commissioned by The Genius of Play and conducted by OnePoll asked 2,000 parents and their children, ages 5–14, what their ideal summer would look like. The kids were not shy in their responses. Here’s a summary of their very specific requests!
Let’s make the summer of ’21 all about fun! That’s the top request from kids this season. And it should come as no surprise that kids want to simply spend the summer playing with friends and family.
“Families missed out on so much last summer due to COVID-19, and with online learning, masks, daily temperature checks, and social distancing, the past school year was rough on everyone,” said Anna Yudina, senior director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association, which spearheads The Genius of Play. “The next few months will be all about making up for lost time, as families embrace a stress-free summer of play and enjoy extra outdoor activities, time with friends, and fun in the sun!”
A recent survey commissioned by The Genius of Play and conducted by OnePoll asked 2,000 parents and their children, ages 5–14, what their ideal summer would look like. The kids were not shy in their responses. Here are their very specific requests: this summer should include five pool parties in the backyard, three road trips, and five trips to the beach. The average child also included three trips to amusement parks in their plans and wished for five new toys to play with.
The survey results found that on average, kids want more than eight hours of playtime each 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! And 23% would also like to schedule 10-plus safe playdates with friends.
Thankfully, families should be able to deliver on their kids’ requests, with 91% of parents saying they’re doing everything they can to make this summer special for their child. In fact, parents said that they are prioritizing two things for their kids this summer: family time (78%) and playtime (62%).
“To help make their summertime wishes become a reality, The Genius of Play invites families to check out ‘Cool Toy Picks’ for some great outdoor toys and ‘Play Ideas & Games’ for ideas on how to keep kids of all ages happy and having fun all season long,” said Yudina.
On top of being fun, play offers critical developmental benefits to kids. The survey asked parents what benefits they see from play, and the results found that 71% believe play can help children grow; 65% said play encourages children to be active/physical, and the same number said it can help kids 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%).
Adults are looking for a return to a “good old-fashioned summer” as well. When asked what they’re looking forward to most this summer in the survey, 90% of adults said they’re looking forward to playing with their child 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
The survey showed that 91% of parents said their fondest memories from childhood summers focus on play—but play is not just for kids.
“There is no age limit on play, and research shows that playtime has a positive impact on adults as well as children,” says 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!”
Reschedule that Zoom meeting. Use your vacation days. Embrace summer Fridays. Soak up the summer sun. Go outside and play!