Mums are too busy to play board games with their children, a new survey claims

Katy Morton
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A quarter of mothers now only play board games with their children twice a year because of their busy lifestyles, despite the majority recognising that they are educational, according to new research.

The Netmums poll of 1,000 mothers on behalf of games manufacturer Mattel reveals that 26 per cent of mums only play board games with their families twice a year as they don’t have enough time to set-up a game or teach children the rules.

While the vast majority of respondents said they grew up playing board games, only one in seven still play board games weekly with their families. A further 35 per cent play board games once a month and one in 15 just at Christmas.

In contrast, 95 per cent of mothers said they thought board games were educational and taught children about taking turns, 87 per cent believed they instil patience, and 73 per cent said they improved their child’s spelling ability.

Board games were also voted as the best value for money toy by almost three quarters of mums, eight times higher than for computer games.

More than a third of respondents said they would play board games with their family more frequently if they did not last as long, although 35 per cent said their games lasted for 30 minutes or less.

To raise awareness of the importance of play, Netmums has partnered with Mattel to launch a campaign to educate mothers that game play can be enjoyed in ‘manageable chunks.’

The Mattel Fun Times campaign recommends a number of games that can be played in 20 minutes, including Chameleon Crunch (pictured), a feeding game for children aged three plus, and memory matching game Red Rover.

Siobhan Freegard, co-founder and director of Netmums, said, ‘There are benefits to be had by all the family when playing a game. Whether it’s on an educational level, to spend more time with the family or just to have some fun, game play should be an integral part of family life. There are a variety of games available and many take less than half an hour to bring the generations together and teach your children while they have fun.’

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