Parents are using these tactics to help their kids make the most of summer in lockdown

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A new study from Spin Master and OnePoll found most parents are worried about their kids’ happiness in lockdown and are using these tactics to help keep them busy after so many cancelled events. (Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

The average family is missing out on 17 events this summer due to the pandemic, according to new research.

This includes an average of two summer camps and two vacations, as well as six day trips and seven playdates, as revealed by the survey of 2,000 parents of school-aged children.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, parents were forced to adapt this summer, and they faced a variety of unique struggles in doing so.

Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Spin Master, a global children’s entertainment company, in advance of Global Kinetic Sand Day, the survey revealed finding activities to keep their children entertained (49%), learning and growing (46%), and happy (45%) were the top three challenges parents faced.

Seventy-four percent of parents are worried about their child’s happiness during the pandemic, which might be one of the reasons why 80% are trying to make the most of this summer, despite the effects of COVID-19.

To do so, 75% are spending more quality time with their child this summer than in past summers and some surveyed parents also revealed they have purchased new toys and games, including activities that can be done together.

To help entertain their kids, 79% said they also choose to purchase toys that have additional benefits, like creative expression or sensory play.

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“The opportunity to grow and learn through play is a fundamental part of childhood,” said Arlene Biran, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Activities and Building Sets, Spin Master. “Toys and activities that encourage open-ended play, like Kinetic Sand, a tactile moldable compound, promote creative expression with sensory benefits that both children and parents enjoy.”

Parents are looking mainly for toys with creative (65%) and educational (61%) benefits, but a third (35%) are also seeking out toys with sensory benefits.

When asked what benefits sensory toys provide, parents were most likely to say they promote focus (47%).

Beyond that, respondents said sensory toys encourage “scientific thinking” and problem solving (47%) and they help develop children’s fine motor skills (43%).

“Tactile activities offer important benefits through play, including sensory development, encouraging fine motor skills and creative expression all of which parents value,” said Biran. “As we get ready to celebrate the first-ever Global Kinetic Sand Day on Aug. 11, we’re encouraging children and families to get their hands in the sand and create something magical with Kinetic Sand.”

HOW ARE PARENTS MAKING THE MOST OF SUMMER?
● Spending more time together 45%
● Going on family walks or bike rides 41%
● Doing movie nights at home 40%
● Making arts and crafts together 38%
● Going to local parks 32%
● Cooking my child’s favorite foods 31%
● Buying my child new toys to play with 30%
● Playing with activity toys with my child 30%
● Setting up a kiddie pool/sprinkler in the backyard 26%
● Taking local day trips 23%
● Planning a fun surprise for my child 23%

WHAT DO PARENTS SEE AS THE BENEFITS TO SENSORY TOYS?
● Promote focus 47%
● Encourage “scientific thinking” and problem solving 47%
● Develop fine motor skills 42%
● Promote a sense of touch 41%
● Encourage language skills 38%
● Enhance coordination 37%
● Reduce anxiety 34%

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