Springfree Trampoline has always been all about safe, family fun. Did you know, our trampolines were developed by a father of three who wanted a safer piece of backyard play equipment for his kids to play on? So it was with interest that we learned about The Australian State of Play Report – a recent study commissioned by Milo that endeavoured to understand more about unstructured active play in Aussie kids aged 8-12 years.
Across all three audience groups surveyed – grandparents, parents and children – all recognised the importance of unstructured, active play. The majority of parents (95%) and grandparents (99%) agree that playtime is not only important but actually essential for children’s development. So much so, that both parents and grandparents believe that for children, play is more important than academics. Do you agree?
Here are some other interesting findings from the survey:
* Parents recognise their kids’ overconsumption of technology with more than half (59%) saying children have too much ‘plugged’ playtime.
* The majority (66%) of children say that outdoor play is their favourite activity – not technology. But many parents believed kids prefer ‘plugged playtime’ to other playtime activities. In actual fact, more than half (55%) of children stated they would like to spend more time playing with their parents.
* The next barrier for playtime is lack of inspiration. More than one-third (37%) of children say they’ve run out of ideas for play. And, interestingly, nearly two-thirds (63%) of parents believe children have forgotten how to amuse themselves without electronic devices.
* There is no doubt that parents and grandparents are certain of the role of play in their children’s development with vast majority of parents (95%) and grandparents (96%) stating that playtime is a great way for children to learn social skills.
* Four in five (89%) parents also believe that playtime develops a child’s imagination and creativity more than any other activity.
* Some 76% of Australian parents and 84% of grandparents feel that playtime enables them to connect with their children and grandchildren. Further, two-thirds (66%) of parents want to spend more time playing with their children.
Dr Paula Barrett, one of the world’s leading child psychologists and a professor at the University of Queensland and Australian National University, believes revitalising playtime in Australia is “critical” and especially important for the 8-12 years age group as “it is a time when they are pushing known boundaries, forming habits and shaping their identity”.
“The current generation of children is crying out for more free time to spend with their loved ones playing and having fun in nature and unstructured environments,” she says.
“This important research draws our attention to the pressure that multiple, structured activities place on children and parents alike, those of which consequently reduce the time for relaxed expressions of love, creativity and play.
“We have an ethical responsibility to prevent future generations of children from developing stunted social and emotional skills due to an over-exposure of ‘screen-time’ (computer, television, electronic games) and a lack of real life interaction with living beings such as family members, friends and pets in natural environments.”
With a Springfree Trampoline in the backyard, we know our customers have one of the safest, quality pieces of play equipment around and we hope it helps brings adults and children together for memorable family fun time. So, does your family ‘play’ enough?
Footnote: For more information about the State of Play report, visit http://www.milo.com.au/play/state-of/