Ikea’s PlayReport Sends Us a Message: Our Kids Want To Play With Us

Geek Culture

PlayReport by IkeaPlayReport by Ikea

A few months back, I was asked to provide input in the planning phases for a global survey on the play patterns of kids, funded by the folks at Swedish retailer Ikea. To an extent, Ikea sanctioned the report as a resource for helping them understand how to develop and market their products, but they have also released the results to help inform and enlighten parents and the public at large about what our kids and we are really thinking about what it means to play. The results are surprising, and rather positive when it comes to what kids really want to do.

Five major takeaways from the PlayReport:

Children overwhelmingly prefer playing with their friends and parents over watching TV.
When children across the world were asked to choose between watching TV or playing with friends or parents, they overwhelmingly choose to play with friends (89%) and parents (73%) with TV a very poor substitute for social interaction at only 11%.

Nearly half of the parents think play should be educational. Children disagree.
Nearly half (45%) of all parents think that play is best when it’s educational. This rises to two thirds of parents in China, Slovakia, Czech Rep, Spain, Hungary, Russia, Poland and Portugal. A further minority at 17% (China, Italy, Russia and US) actually prefer their children to learn things rather than to simply play. 27% think play should always have a purpose. As for the children, 51% actually prefer to play rather than learn.

Parents are too stressed to play.
45% of parents surveyed agree that they feel they don’t have enough time to play with their children. Even when parents do find the time to play, a significant minority feel too distracted by other concerns to enjoy it; 26% agree that they are ‘too stressed to enjoy it’.

A majority of parents want more creativity at home for their children. The question is how?
89% of parents agree that play is important to encourage their child’s imagination and creativity. And almost all, 93% agree that it’s an essential part of the way a child develops. And 71% feel that they should ‘encourage more creativity at home’, but that they don’t know how.

Not all parents want their children to be happy.
72% of parents selected happiness as single most important wish for their children. But what about the other 28%? Well, financial success came second and thoughtfulness of
others a close third.

Ikea has set up a Facebook group to help spread the word and continue the discussion around the findings of the report, and if you want to learn more, check it out.

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