New Toy Survey: Vast Majority of Parents Think Hands-On Play is Important

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Online poll conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of STAEDTLER, the creator of children’s modeling clay FIMO kids, provides insights into why parents want their children to have a balance between hands-on play and technology.

The survey results clearly show an awareness of the numerous benefits of hands-on play. As children develop, they need creative play, physical play, and interactions with their peers and adults – all of which hands-on play offers.

With more toys available than ever, parents face a challenge to make the right choices for their children. However, despite the many options, parents have a clear understanding of how they want their children to play and what type of toys are best for their development.

An online survey fielded in January of 500 parents with children under 18 in their household, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of STAEDTLER, the creator of children’s modeling clay FIMO kids, found that hands-on play and technology are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the vast majority of parents (91 percent) said that they want their children to have a balance between hands-on play and playing with technology.

FIMO kids is an oven-hardened modeling clay that fosters the creativity and imagination of children by allowing them to make their own toys. The bright colors, different materials, and unlimited design options offer an engaging hands-on balance to screen time.

The data also reveals a growing concern among parents about their ability to maintain this balance, as more than half of parents (55 percent) said technology has eliminated hands-on play. 80 percent of parents said their children lack hands-on play and 30 percent of those parents are extremely/very concerned about it.

One of the reasons for this growing concern is that children may no longer be experiencing the developmental benefits associated with hands-on play. When asked about why parents think it is important for their children to have hands-on play, the data shows a significant awareness among parents of its developmental benefits, with 75 percent of parents saying it’s important for their child to have hands-on play because it is good for their child’s development. Other reasons include:

  • 70 percent say hands-on play is important because it allows children to be creative.
  • 66 percent say hands-on play is important because it allows them to use their imagination.
  • 61 percent say hands-on play is important because it keeps them engaged in a learning activity.

“The survey results clearly show an awareness of the numerous benefits of hands-on play. As children develop, they need creative play, physical play, and interactions with their peers and adults – all of which hands-on play offers,” states Erna Müller, Head of Corporate Communications & Design at STAEDTLER.

Regarding personal interaction, the survey found that 70 percent of parents are very or completely involved when their children engage in hands-on play. By comparison, 55 percent say the same when their children play with technology. According to Müller, “This shows why hands-on play is invaluable in enabling quality family time and confirms how important it is for balanced learning.”    

Both the interpersonal benefits and creative results of hands-on play are evident when looking at the types of objects children like to create while playing: 47 percent of parents said their children like to create toys for themselves and 34 percent said they like to create toys for other people when playing. As much as children like creating toys, 42 percent of parents stated that their children also like to create decorations for the house.

About FIMO kids

  • FIMO kids by STAEDTLER is an oven-hardening modeling clay that has been developed especially for children eight years and older.
  • The soft texture, broad range of colors and different product lines provide endless design possibilities for all skill levels.
  • FIMO kids is available as individual color blocks (24 different colors), two color packs (six colors each) and two product lines: “form&play” and “create&play”.
  • To create lasting toys, the FIMO kids can be baked in the oven at 230° F for 30 minutes.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of STAEDTLER from January 26-28, 2016 among, 2010 adults ages 18 and older, among which 576 are parents with children under 18 in their household. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About STAEDTLER
STAEDTLER is one of the oldest industrial companies in Germany and ranks among the world's leading manufacturers and suppliers of writing, coloring, drawing and creative products. An international company with a high export quota, STAEDTLER has over 2,000 employees worldwide. The long-established company attaches great importance to the origins of its products and manufactures almost 80% of its articles in Germany. This makes STAEDTLER the largest manufacturer of wood-cased pencils, erasers, mechanical pencil leads and modeling clays in Europe and proud of its long tradition of manufacturing ‘Made in Germany’ products.

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Katie Weaver
G&S Business Communications
+1 (212) 697-2600
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