Pool parties, road trips, amusement parks! Here’s how kids envision their ‘dream summer’ this year

NEW YORK — This summer should include five pool parties in the backyard, three road trips, and five visits to the beach — if you leave it up to the kids.

A new survey of 2,000 parents polled both them and their children (ages 5–14) to find out what kids believe the ideal summer looks like. Turns out it’ll be a busy schedule full of play. On average, kids want more than eight hours of playtime each day, but if that’s not enough, 23 percent would also like to book in over 10 safe playdates with their friends.

Don’t forget the family vacations too!

Dream SummerCommissioned by The Genius of Play and conducted by OnePoll, researchers discovered the average child would also like to include three trips to amusement parks in their summer plans and buy five new toys to play with.

With the ongoing pandemic, some of these dreams might need to wait until next year — or even further into the future — but kids understand. In fact, nine in 10 said it’ll be a great summer, even if they don’t get to do everything on their list. Also, 91 percent of parents said they’re doing everything they can to make this summer special for their children.

Luckily, they won’t have to try too hard. When asked what they’re looking forward to most this summer, having time to play was the top choice for 59 percent of youths. If it’s up to them, the average child would like to play for a little over eight hours each day during vacation. Over the course of a typical summer break from school, that adds up to just over 26 full days spent playing, or a whopping 624 hours.

In addition to having time for play, kids are looking forward to spending time with their family (58%) and, of course, not having to go to school (51%).

Kids want a fantastic summer to offset 2020

Parents seem to be in line with their kids’ summer desires, and 90 percent agree that after an incredibly stressful year, play is the number one thing children need this summer.

“Parents said that they are prioritizing two things for their kids this summer: family time (78%) and playtime (62%),” says Anna Yudina, senior director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association, which spearheads The Genius of Play, in a statement.

Researchers asked parents what benefits they see from play, and results show 71 percent believe play can help children grow. In addition to that, 65 percent believe play encourages children to be more active and the same number said it can help children learn to be more independent.

Rounding out the top five benefits of play include how critical it is to helping children regain and maintain their social skills (63%) and getting them outside more often (60%).

Grown-ups need playtime too

Dream SummerNine in 10 parents added their fondest memories from childhood summers focus on play — but it’s not only for children. The poll also finds 90 percent of adults are looking forward to playing with their children this summer. Another 89 percent said they learned to appreciate the importance of play and leisure time for adults over the course of the past year.

“There is no age limit on play, and research shows that playtime has a positive impact on adults as well as kids,” Yudina adds. “In fact, 84% of parents in our survey said that taking time to play makes them more productive at work. Research has also linked playing to greater life satisfaction and lower stress levels in adults. We hope this information will motivate parents to play more – whether through their own personal hobbies or by spending more time playing with their kids!”

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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