Top tips for parents playing with their kids – let little ones lead
16th February 2023

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And Dr Kilbey emphasised it can be easier, as well as beneficial, for parents to let their child lead play sessions.

It follows research into 500 parents of children, aged three to 10, which revealed that 51 percent feel they and their little ones are equally likely to lead play.

One in four parents admitted it can be easy to forget how important playtime is, despite half (49 percent) accepting it helps build stronger bonds with their children.

Commenting on the research, commissioned by Kinder Surprise, Dr Elizabeth Kilbey said: “Play is essential to their development, but as adults, I think we can easily forget how joyful and fun playing really is.

“You don’t always need to come up with new or clever ideas. The important thing about playing with your child is spending that little time with them, focusing on activities they particularly like to do.

“One important method of play is child-led play, in which you allow your child to set the agenda for what you are doing together and you follow their lead, commenting on the activities that they are doing to keep them engaged.”

It also emerged parents spend an average of 36 minutes a day playing with their children – but feel they should be doing more, and engaging in an extra 10 minutes.

Dr Kilbey added: “Parents are already doing a great job, and while they may always feel like they can do more, it is important to remember that short quality sessions of play can be really impactful.”

Physical play was also the top method parents go to – followed by digital, constructive, and social, such as a playdate.

The research also found 91 percent believe a combination of play with physical toys and digital games is beneficial for their child’s development.

Leonardo Bertelli, from Kinder, which has created a number of workshops and activities to keep kids entertained this half term, added: “We know that play is vital to children’s growth and development, as it is the lens through which children observe and experiment with the world.

“That is why we’ve been encouraging play for over four decades, and always celebrate the little moments between parents and children that we know mean a lot.

“While we know a third of parents are struggling to find new ways to play with their children, we wanted to share some free activities to help them make the most of their playtime with their children.”

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