Keeping kids occupied during the summer holidays can be a difficult task, especially if the British weather means you can’t really go outside. TV programmes and films can be a lifesaver for parents struggling to keep children entertained, but they can also mean your kids end up sitting in front of a screen for a lot of the summer.
According to new research from uSwitch, children in the UK will spend more than six full days watching television this summer. A large number of parents will also make the most of on-demand services to keep their little ones occupied, with 67 per cent of families using services like Amazon Prime or Netflix.
It also seems that the youngest family members are the ones who put their foot down when it comes to picking what everyone watches. When parents are looking at TV packages, the availability of children’s programmes is the most important, with 37 per cent saying they look at this over other entertainment channels (27 per cent) and sports channels (15 per cent).
While over half (52 per cent) said that a trip to the park is a good way to keep kids entertained during the summer break, 14 per cent still said that TV was a good activity. Other activities parents do with their kids instead of sitting in front of the box were going to the seaside (29 per cent) and playing in the garden (49 per cent).
When it comes to having to stay inside, parents think that kids are going to want to watch TV (18 per cent) or play computer games (19 per cent) instead of enjoying activities like reading (12 per cent) or drawing and painting (16 per cent). This perhaps suggests why so many of us will opt to pop our kids in front of the TV than attempt to get them interested in something else.
Ewan Taylor-Gibson, telecoms expert at uSwitch, said: “While the postcard image of the summer holidays might conjure up seaside trips and summer camps, the reality is that parents are often restricted by expense and time when it comes to organising their children’s activities during the year’s longest break from school.
“TV channels and services across the board have come to the rescue of concerned parents who want mental and physical stimuli for their children this summer, but don’t necessarily have the time to be constantly curating activities.”
However, many parents (79 per cent) would consider a screen ban during the summer holidays, while some (76 per cent) said they’d think about limiting the amount of time kids can spend watching TV. A further 70 per cent said they’d also consider reducing the time spent playing computer games, which could help get them excited about other activities.