They carried out the world’s largest research study on the subject of play, and next month IKEA launches the innovative LATTJO collection of toys and games, with the single purpose of inspiring families to play together, every day. We preview our favourite pieces from the collection and share the highlights from the report.
You’ve got to hand it to IKEA. Not only do they own good quality and populist pricing, but they are also committed to making sure parents and children remember the value of play. So much so that they commissioned the biggest ever study on the topic, interviewing almost 30,000 parents and children in 12 countries about how they spend their time together.
The research comprised interviews with 16,174 parents and 6,235 children aged 7-12, and while the results are not necessarily all surprising, they certainly give pause for thought. Overall, both parents and young people say that fun and play have an important role in family life, while 47% of children surveyed would like their parents to spend more time playing with them – this has increased a lot since the last report in 2009 (38%).
Parents across the board admit that they want to spend ‘quality time’ with their children and yet more parents than ever find it difficult to find the time to do so.
Maria Thörn, Range Manager at Children’s IKEA says, “Playing together makes us more creative, stronger and more active. Through play we learn about the world and each other, we try out ideas and learn how to solve problems.” We couldn’t agree more.
10 Things We Learned from the 2015 Play Report
- Over a quarter of the children interviewed feel that their parents organise too many things for them to do outside school.
- Nearly half of parents agree that they ‘feel I don’t have enough time to play with my children’.
- 49% of parents agree that ‘I often feel guilty that I’m not spending enough time with my children’, compared to 45% of parents in 2009.
- Around half (51%) of children aged 7-12 agree that ‘my parents always seem to be in a rush’.
- Safety concerns continue to directly affect children’s play. Anxiety about allowing children to play out with their friends has increased. And around a fifth of 7-12 year olds globally are not allowed to play outside their own.
- Four out of 10 parents say they ‘always eat together as a family’.
- 7 out of 10 parents (71%) agree that ‘my home should be a place for fun and play’.
- Some parents admit to feeling bored playing games with their children, while many parents said they are often ‘too stressed to enjoy playing with my children’.
- The educational value of play is universally clear to parents. Almost all parents (96%) believe play can be educational and this belief is held across all countries (although a slight decrease from 99% of parents in 2009).
- A whopping 81% of 7-12 year olds would prefer to play with friends than watch TV, while 83% would prefer to play with friends than use the internet and 70% would prefer to play with their parents than use the internet.
Product Developer for the LATTJO range Nicolas Cortolezzis says, “Play is a universal language, across borders, across generations. Through play we connect with each other and build relations – having fun at the same time. And it’s just as important for adults as for children. Research shows that the joy of doing something without a specific purpose, like playing, releases stress and fuels our creativity and imagination.”
The collection spans indoor and outdoor play, role play, music and active games: from capes and rats tails, to wigs and puzzles, drums and kites. There’s an app, designed in collaboration with Stockholm-based design agency Acne, to encourage people to play together even when they’re apart. There’s even a guide book, designed to help families interpret and use each of the toys, and remind grown-ups who have ‘forgotten how to play’ and ‘may need some help’ to show them that it doesn’t have to be difficult.
After all, according to the guide’s authors: ‘All you need are a little TIME and IMAGINATION, maybe a few elastic bands, a saucepan, a soft mat or even just a THUMB.’ And perhaps a few LATTJO toys to get you in the right frame of mind.
The range launches in store on 1 November. Here’s our pick of the best toys and games to look out for:
LATTJO Bat Hat, £5
LATTJO Elastic Ribbons, £2.50 each
LATTJO Carrom Game, £30
LATTJO numbered band £3/10 pack and ball, £3
LATTJO tongue drum £9
See the entire collection from November 1 at IKEA.