Once-popular presents such as bikes, skateboards and rollerblades are slipping down kids’ Christmas lists, a study has found.
A poll of 2,000 parents revealed just one in 10 children has asked for a new bike or skateboard from Santa, and only one in 20 have requested rollerblades. Instead, consoles and games, Lego and smartphones are among the top items on children’s wish-lists.
Kids’ obsession with high-tech gadgets is leaving parents fearing they will have a struggle on their hands trying to prise their children away from screens and get them outdoors. It also emerged seven in 10 mums and dads claim their little ones spend too much time indoors during the festive period. In fact, two thirds of parents polled by multi-sports retailer, Decathlon said their offspring will only really step outside to visit family over Christmas. One in 10 even admit that their children don’t venture out of the house at all for a week or more during the Christmas break.
Peter Lazarus, cycling manager at Decathlon said: “It’s not uncommon for children to be inactive during the festive period.”They have toys to play with, films to watch and games consoles – plenty to keep them entertained without braving the cold and dark. Buying kids an outdoor gift like a bike can be a great way of getting them out in the fresh air over Christmas and setting them up for a more active year ahead.A quick cycle around the park, an hour on a skateboard or a walk in the countryside will all help to tear children away from their screens while keeping fitness levels up.”
The research found the lure of new Christmas gifts is one of the biggest reasons for children staying inside. Computer games, iPads and the jam-packed schedule of Christmas TV are the most common distractions.
Six in 10 parents said they have to encourage their children to step away from their screens over the festive period. And another 61 per cent have bought their children outdoor gifts for Christmas in an attempt to get them out of the house. According to the study, the average child will spend just an hour and 35 minutes outside per day during the school Christmas holiday. Three in 10 youngsters will get 30 minutes or less of fresh air.
But in comparison, three hours a day will be spent in front of the TV while another two-and-a-half hours will be devoted to playing on iPads, phones or computer games.
Jack Shakespeare of ukactive Kids, a not-for-profit group of organisations that campaigns for better health, added: “Movement has been stripped out of our children’s lives, with ‘Generation Inactive’ fed a staple diet of sofa play and screen time, while being starved of outdoor activities.
“It is vital for the health and happiness of this generation that we find ways to get children active and social outside of term time – whether a festive family walk or opening up schools to offer activities during the holidays.”
The poll, via OnePoll, also revealed nearly one third of children in the UK now don’t even own a bike, and over four in ten of those that do haven’t ridden it for more than a month.
<b>List of top 20 Christmas gifts in 2018:</b>
1. Computer games
6. Games consoles
7. Board games
11. A bike
12. Nerf guns
14. Action figures
15. Cuddly toys
16. Remote controlled car
17. Sports equipment