Create and Craft research finds TWO THIRDS of primary school aged children sleep with a screen in their bedroom

Samantha Jeffries   ·  4 min read

The nationwide study found as many as 61 percent of children aged five to eleven have a laptop, TV tablet or phone with them all night.

A further 37 percent of UK mums and dads admit on an average weekend, during the autumn and winter months, their children are looking at a screen for the majority of the day, from the moment they get up until bedtime.

According to the latest findings, the average primary school aged child spends 16 hours every week looking at screens at home, which equates to 34 solid days every year - more than a MONTH. And this doesn’t include the time spent looking at a screen during school hours.

The data also revealed that a quarter (24 percent) of young UK kids spend 30 hours on gadgets every week, while one in 20 (four percent) are on them for 40 hours - the equivalent of a 9 to 5 job.

And more than one in 10 (12 percent) of the 1,000 parents polled confessed to having no idea what their kids were looking at online.

The study, by multi-channel retailer Create and Craft, also found that 29 percent of parents of primary school aged children said that - although they were desperate to get their kids off screens - they could hardly ever think of things to do with their children at home that weren’t screen-based.

Little wonder then, perhaps, that 93 percent of the parents polled said they worry their children’s generation were spending too much time on technology and not enough being imaginative or creative.

More than half (53 percent) of parents admitted that lockdown had seen a huge rise in their child’s screen time.

And over one in five (22 percent) acknowledged they had relied on screens to act as babysitters while they juggled work and childcare over the summer months.

According to the study, nearly a third (32 percent) of UK mums and dads confessed that, even though they’ve set clear screen time limits, their little ones frequently pester until they give in and let them back on screens.

In fact, 36 percent of parents feel huge guilt about how much time their children spend on gadgets, and 19 percent openly said they don’t understand popular apps like House Party and TikTok.

The same amount (19 percent) complained that their kids just don’t play like they did when they were the same age.

The study found that the average primary school child spends just three hours and 48 minutes a week doing arts and crafts at home, with baking (59 percent), painting (50 percent) and building models (34 percent) some of the most common activities.

More than a third (36 percent) said their kids loved sketching, 25 percent were fond of making friendship bracelets and 30 percent relish making Christmas decorations.

Frances Busby, Managing Director, Create and Craft said: “It’s clear children are spending a considerable amount of time on their screens and, through necessicty, they are often quite literally left to their own devices. While screens have many positives, we know many parents are keen to find ways for their children to explore the world in other ways.  Activities like crafting can be a great for making children less reliant on screens and it doesn’t just have to be traditional pursuits like sewing and paper – there are many options now that are really fun but also build on areas like STEM to help develop children’s critical thinking skills and sense of curiosity.”

The study found that 62 percent of mothers and fathers were in agreement that doing activities that didn’t involve gadgets definitely brought them closer together as a family and 50 percent said their child loved doing arts and crafts when they eventually put their screens down.

Create and Craft is now offering an extensive range of STEM learning kits which have been specially designed to engage children in science, technology, engineering and maths. Suitable for children aged 18 months to 11 years, they help build children’s critical thinking skills and sense of curiosity.

Top tips for Striking a Screen-time Balance from child psychologist and play pundit, Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk:

  1. Keep in mind that screens are intentionally designed to be addictive.  The steady stream of exciting moments that they create generates bursts of the hormone dopamine.  It is normal to crave more of that excitement hormone!  This one insight can help to make sense of your child’s attachment to their screen.
  2. When tension arises as you draw limits to your child’s screen use, remember that doing without something you love means coping with disappointment.  That’s a tough emotion.  Acknowledge the disappointment, whilst holding to your boundary.
  3. Laugh as much as you can with your child.  Laughing builds bonds.  It stores up a stock of trust and shared moments.  You’ll find you may need to trade on that stock in times of tension.  You can negotiate those tricky times more patiently and confidently when you know your underlying relationship is strong.
  4. Build on your child’s interests.  Which STEM themes are they most enjoying?  Look for other activities, books, ideas and items that expand on that interest.  That all helps to enrich their activities away from screens and keeps them coming back for more – eagerly!
  5. Talk lots.  When your child creates something, talk with them about it, what it feels like to have achieved that, any disappointments that happened along the way and what your favourite part of what they’ve done is.  It’s not only their brain that will be listening.  Their heart will too.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

Evie Porter - Head of Projects at Perspectus Global: evie@perspectusglobal.com

The research was conducted by Perspectus Global on behalf of Create and Craft and surveyed 1,000 UK based parents during October 2020.

About Create and Craft

Create and Craft is an award winning multi – channel craft retailer, broadcasting live on TV and online in the UK and US to over 70 million homes. Their product range includes items from across the crafting genres; paper craft, sewing, knitting, crochet, mixed-media, jewellery-making and more. Create and Craft have been recognised every year at the Best of Craft Awards, most recently winning across six categories in 2019, including Best Rated Customer Service, Most Inspiring Blog and Most Loved Crafts TV Shopping Channel.

Create and Craft is part of Ideal Shopping Direct Limited, one of the UK’s leading multi-channel home shopping retailers based in Peterborough, Chesterfield & Elland, UK. In July 2018, the business was acquired by Aurelius Alpha Limited, a subsidiary of Aurelius Equity Opportunities.

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