Cowboys & Indians - still popular!

Cowboys & Indians - still popular!


How pleased we were and sure you will be too to read that children today are not THAT much different from previous generations - first choice when playing is still 'make believe' - so read on and see that computers etc are not quite as dominant as we are sometimes led to believe ! ......

‘Make believe’ continues to be the defining childhood activity of the last five decades Unexpectedly, today’s children prefer ‘make believe’ to spending time on the computer 45% of adults spend more time playing with their children than their parents/grandchildren spent with them Over half of adults said children spend less time on active play than during their own childhood Nearly a third of adults spent more than 20 hours playing each week during childhood

Whether it’s Cowboys and Indians or dressing up as a princess, it seems ‘make believe’ is the childhood activity that unites the generations, according to research by Sainsbury’s Active Kids. Those born between 1950 and 2000 all selected pretend play as their favourite childhood activity, beating other child classics such as hopscotch, hot potato and hide and seek.*

When it comes to today’s children, it seems things haven’t changed over the last 50 years. While nearly a third of adults (29%) think their children prefer spending time playing on a computer, in fact kids are following in their parent’s traditional footsteps as the majority (22%) say ‘make believe’ is their favourite past time, compared to just 15% that preferred spending time at the computer.

It seems fresh air is also key for the kids of today, with two thirds of children (64%) saying they enjoy playing outside even in the rain.**

According to the research, which was carried out by Sainsbury’s Active Kids among children and adults across the UK, nearly half (45%) of UK parents and grandparents spend more time playing with their children compared to their own parents or grandparents. Yet despite this, 53% of adults still feel their children spend less time getting active than they did in their own childhood.

In fact, over a fifth (21%) of adults said they spent more than 20 hours playing each week when they were children, but just 7% thought their own children invest the same amount of time in play. According to adults, the majority of today’s children (29%) spend between 1 and 5 hours on active play each week.

Looking back across the ages, the UK’s top three childhood activities are as follows:

Preferred activity 50s child 60s child 70s child 80s child 90s child 00s child 1st choice Make believe Make believe Make believe Make believe Make believe Make believe 2nd choice Building dens Bike riding Bike riding Bike riding Hide and Seek Playing on the computer 3rd choice Skipping Building dens Hide and Seek Building dens Building Dens Bike riding

The research was launched in 2013 to coincide with Sainsbury’s Active Kids scheme, an initiative which has so far put over 4.9 million pieces of equipment into the hands of millions of children across the UK. Backed by Active Kids ambassadors David Beckham and Ellie Simmonds, Sainsbury’s is also working with Sport England to extend the Active Kids scheme to include to disabled young people. That means more young people than ever before will have the chance to benefit and get active.

Mark Given, Head of Brand Comms and Sponsorship, Sainsbury’s said: “This research shows that it’s the simple childhood activities than span the generations and old favourites are as popular as ever. Regardless of what children are playing, the most important thing is that they’re spending time getting active. Through the Sainsbury’s Active Kids scheme, we are trying to play a part in making sure it’s easier than ever for children to live a healthier, more active lifestyle by playing and moving, helping them to create memories that will stay with them forever.”


* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2574 adults Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 18th February 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+) and all children aged 8-15

** This figure is taken from Opinion Matters as us taken from a two part study involving bespoke research with 1,500 children aged 5-11 and 2,000 parents of children aged 5-11. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2.07.12 – 30.07.12. The survey was carried out online. The sample is nationally representative.

Active Kids Sainsbury’s Active Kids was launched in February 2005, in response to growing concerns around children’s activity and obesity levels Active Kids has donated over £120 million worth of equipment and experiences to over 49,000 organisations Nurseries, schools, Scout and Guide groups, and Clubmark accredited sports clubs (or acceptable equivalent), can exchange Active Kids Vouchers for a variety of sports and activity equipment and experiences (please check scheme still valid - this piece retained on website but published Feb 2013). Sainsbury’s has pledged to have encouraged over 20 million children to enjoy physical activity by 2020

Content credited to: Sainsbury's Active Kids scheme Feb 2013


Follow Us

Follow us on Social Media