Survey reveals 68pc of parents think tech has replaced play 5 years ago

Survey reveals 68pc of parents think tech has replaced play

Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen today launched a new play-inspired campaign to encourage adults to reconnect with their childhood.

Barretstown reconnect campaign children play charity Aidan Gillen

Irish actor Aidan Gillen took some time out to play today, as children's charity Barretstown published some new research to mark the launch of their Reconnect campaign. The campaign will run throughout August, with the aim of encouraging people around the country to reconnect with their childhood by creating special family 'moments'.

A survey carried out by the charity, who provide therapeutic recreation programmes for children with serious illness and their families, has looked at the importance of fun and play in childhood.

The findings how that when it comes to 'playspiration', 72 percent of Irish adults say that, as children, friends were their primary source of inspiration for play. Siblings (49 percent), parents (46 percent), books (38 percent) and television (25 percent) also feature in the top five sources. However, technology sources were cited more frequently amongst those aged 18-34 with 34 percent choosing tv; 29 percent films (versus 21 percent of all adults) and 19 percent gaming (compared to nine percent for all adults).

In contrast, when adults were asked what they believe inspires their children's play today, technology took the top four spots, with iPads and devices at 68 percent, television (60 percent), online (57 percent) and gaming coming in at 51 percent.


Barretstown reconnect campaign children play charity Aidan Gillen

A whopping 90 percent of survey respondents believe that children should have more freedom to play, like they did as children. A large majority (69 percent) of adults think that there is too much emphasis on organised play for children nowadays and this increases to 74 percent when asking parents only.

On average, those with younger children (less than three years of age) have on average 1.5 playdates a week with 13 percent of parents claiming to have three, and 36 percent to have two play dates organised for their children each week. The older children get, the less frequent their playdates get - averaging 1.2 playdates per week.

A quarter of parents surveyed said they had difficulty managing their child's diary and the older their children get the harder this becomes, with four in ten of those with children aged six to ten saying it is difficult to manage.