Over a third of parents (36 per cent) believe it’s a must to pay out for family fun with parents admitting that they just don’t know how to entertain the kids for free. The average family now spends over £30 a week more per child* in the school holidays than term time and with just two weeks into the summer break; families are already sliding into debt.
Morrisons’ research into family summers identified that the free and low-cost games that filled parents’ childhoods are on the verge of extinction today. 93 per cent of parents surveyed regularly played free games in their youth, yet 27 per cent of their children have never played the games, which include hopscotch, leapfrog, blind man’s bluff, jacks and tiddlywinks.
Despite almost half (47 per cent) of parents wanting their children to have similar childhood experiences to theirs, nearly a fifth (17 per cent) don’t feel confident on how to share this fun with their offspring.
Morrisons identified a league of the most ‘at risk of extinction’ games as parents in the UK admitted they had forgotten the way to play and teach them:
- Elastics / French skipping (a loop of elastic over and through which the player jumps, to a chanting rhyme) - 46 per cent don’t feel they can teach their children
- Cat’s cradle (a loop of string stretched around fingers used to make a series of figures) - 46 per cent don’t feel they can teach their children
- Paper plane making - 31 per cent don’t feel they can teach their children
- Leapfrog (players vault over each other's stooped backs) - 30 per cent
- Hopscotch (hopping and jumping game played on a numbered chalk grid on the floor) - 29 per cent.
In response to the research, Morrisons has hit the roads of the UK with the M Savers Summer ‘Pop-Up’ Play Park in partnership with Play England, the leading charity that promotes the importance of play. Launching in Plymouth today, the park will tour the country throughout the summer holidays teaching such games and creative activities absolutely free.
Sonia Whiteley-Guest, Director of Brand Development at Morrisons, comments: “With two children of my own I am constantly looking for fun but low-cost solutions to keep the boredom at bay. Our wider report into summer spending highlighted that parents expect to be in the red as a result of the school holidays, with the average parent predicted to end up £126.95 in debt over the course of the holiday. Eight per cent will accrue a debt of between £250 - £500.
“Entertaining children with these games and the ones we all remember from our childhoods needn’t cost a penny. Those who want to remember the fun and how to play traditional games should head down to the free Summer Play Parks to refresh their memories.”
Catherine Prisk, Director of Play England, said: “Outdoor and indoor play is essential for children's health, well-being and happiness. It is also important for their future development, to help build vital life and social skills. Skipping, elastics, juggling and paper planes are just as much fun for children today – and cost virtually nothing. Many of these games have been around for centuries; hopscotch for example has been a staple child’s game since the 17th century. We need to ensure they are passed on to future generations.”
Visit www.morrisons.co.uk/msavers/summer to find a host of helpful information for parents to help keep summer costs down. This includes a play map to find free play areas, step-by-step play guides of free and low-cost games as well as easy to cook, low cost, nutritious M Savers summer-themed recipes from as little as 16p per head.