Here’s how parents are making the most of summer 2020

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 percent), learning and growing (46 percent) and happy (45 percent) 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 percent are trying to make the most of this summer, despite the effects of COVID-19.

To do so, 75 percent 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 percent said they also choose to purchase toys that have additional benefits, like creative expression or sensory play.

“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 percent) and educational (61 percent) benefits, but a third (35 percent) 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 percent).

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

“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 percent
  • Going on family walks or bike rides: 41 percent
  • Doing movie nights at home: 40 percent
  • Making arts and crafts together: 38 percent
  • Going to local parks: 32 percent
  • Cooking my child’s favorite foods: 31 percent
  • Buying my child new toys to play with: 30 percent
  • Playing with activity toys with my child: 30 percent
  • Setting up a kiddie pool/sprinkler in the backyard: 26 percent
  • Taking local day trips: 23 percent
  • Planning a fun surprise for my child: 23 percent

What do parents see as the benefits to sensory toys?

  • Promote focus: 47 percent
  • Encourage “scientific thinking” and problem solving: 47 percent
  • Develop fine motor skills: 42 percent
  • Promote a sense of touch: 41 percent
  • Encourage language skills: 38 percent
  • Enhance coordination: 37 percent
  • Reduce anxiety: 34 percent

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