Playing with the children is boring…

October 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 6 Comments
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Following on from my post about a generation of stay inside children, apparently a third of parents think taking part in games and activities with their children is boring.

Doing my expenses is boring.  Sweeping up dead leaves is boring (ok a little therapeutic).  Cleaning out the oven is definitely boring.

Playing ‘no more monkeys bouncing on the bed’ is the best thing ever.  Learning to count to ten with a two-year old is better than all the chocolate in the world.  Hiding in the cupboard from Daddy is priceless.

Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

It’s not surprising that the State of Play, Back to Basics* report revealed that over half of the children surveyed wanted more quality time with their parents.  And shockingly one in ten said they knew their parents thought playtime was dull.

Sometimes when I reply to an email or check a text on my phone I instantly hear the words ‘no phone mummy, no phone’ from a distraught two-year old vigorously shaking his head like his whole world is coming to and end.  That’s bad enough.  If he thought that play wasn’t exciting and fun to me I’d feel a failure.

On an even happier note the report says that over 20% of parents have no idea how to play with their children – they’ve forgotten.  I’m sorry but when you become a parent something just kicks in doesn’t it?! Like when there’s a power cut your eyes adjust.  If a madman started chasing you down the road, trying to grab your new purchase from Coast (ok not good example); you’d run, right?  When you become a parent you play.  Fact.  You coochico, you speak in a ridiculously insane voice (the one you swore you’d never do), you refer to yourself in the third person (a lot), and you get down on your hands and knees and play.

This is where we get to the real wake up call.  A third of children said they knew work pressures prevented their parents playing with them.

Yep.  That’s me too.  When I get home with the bear from nursery do I quickly check if there’s anything else I need to do before tomorrow, or do I get the train and tracks out?  Yes, I scan my emails.

I’m not perfect, I’m not an all-singing, all-dancing entertainment factory.  I’m just a normal mum.  But I do make Halloween cupcakes with my son, we do leaf rubbings, we go to the park, we put the toys to bed and wake them up for a drink.  We go to messy play (long live Sure Start children’s centres), and finally we talk – and cuddle.

We will not be a statistic that says we have forgotten how to play together.

* 2000 adults and 2000 children age 5-15 surveyed.



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  1. I can’t think of anything more exciting than playing with my two, they have such great imaginations and I get some exercise too! I’m glad to not be one of the sad statistics too!

    • It’s scary isn’t it! Why have children if you’re not ready to be imaginative – who can say pretending to be the Gruffalo isn’t funny?!!

  2. What a very sad statistic that is! It must be wrong – well we hope it is anyway :-0

    • It’s sad isn’t it – I know a lot of these surveys are manipulated to shock, but still, you’d hope that the percentage would be teeny!

  3. I try to play as often as I can with my little ones as I never remember my parents playing with me. Sad I know but that’s what I remember. They were always working. x

    • It’s a hard one isn’t it. I remember my dad playing with us in the garden and want to make sure we do the same. We made a swing from the tree, dens, painting chalk on the patio, allsorts.

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