Have you forgotten how to play?

- IKEA conducts the largest study ever on the state of play to help parents be creative with their kids -

BURLINGTON, ON, June 23 /CNW/ - Are your creative juices tapped? According to IKEA's Play Report - the largest global study ever on child development and how children play - almost 71 per cent of parents feel they should encourage their child's creativity, but don't know how. This is just one of the many intriguing findings released in the Playreport, an international, research-driven project investigating play and its affects on family life.

IKEA understands life at home with children. Products are developed with leading children's' experts on child development with both function and safety in mind. The IKEA Playreport takes this thinking one step further by highlighting how children and parents play together at home and engage parents in more creative play with their children.

"At IKEA, we believe that children are the most important people in the world, and the home is the most important playground," says Thom Kyle, Marketing Manager of IKEA Canada. "We hope the Playreport encourages Canadian parents to start meaningful conversations with their children about playtime - and have a bit of fun with each other in the process."

Through the Playreport, IKEA has engaged parents and children throughout the world to participate in the conversation around child development and play. Survey fieldwork for the global report was carried out over the Internet in 25 countries, including Canada, by Research Now, London, UK. Family Kids and Youth, one of the world's foremost youth research agencies, partnered with IKEA to design the questionnaire, analyze the results and provide an overview of child development and background on the importance of play.

Canadian-specific findings found:

    -   50 per cent of Canadian parents believe 'there is not enough time to
        play with children'
    -   40 per cent of Canadian parents admit children rely too much on
        technology and should play more
    -   92 per cent of Canadian children chose playing with friends or family
        over watching TV

"The state of childhood is very good out there," says Dr. Barbie Clarke, CEO at Family Kids and Youth and head researcher on the Playreport. She cites some surprising results, such as kids preferring 9 to 1 to play with friends and their parents over watching TV. "It's really a healthy picture, and parents should know that they are doing a good job."

Dr. Clarke did note, however, that some of the results are more worrisome:

    -   45 per cent of parents feel they don't have enough time to play with
        their children
    -   26 per cent agree that they're too stressed to play with their kids
    -   46 per cent of parents admit to feeling guilty about not spending
        enough time with their kids

To encourage further engagement, IKEA has launched a Playreport page on Facebook (facebook.com/playreport), and invites experts and parents from across the world to participate in a conversation around child development and the importance of play.

About IKEA

Founded in Sweden in 1943, IKEA offers home furnishing and accessories of good design and function at low prices so the many people can afford them. There are currently 268 IKEA Group stores in 25 countries with 590 million visitors last year. IKEA incorporates social and environmental efforts into day-to-day business and continuously supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment. For more information, please visit: www.IKEA.ca

About the Playreport

IKEA has undertaken a major research-driven project to investigate the subjects of children's development and play called the Playreport. Nearly 8,000 Internet-based interviews were conducted with parents and over 3,000 interviews with children aged 0-12 years during October and November 2009. Survey fieldwork was carried out online in 25 countries by Research Now, London. Family Kids and Youth, partnered with IKEA to design the questionnaire, analyze the results and provide an overview of child development and background to the importance of play. To download the results, visit www.facebook.com/playreport

In addition to the Playreport, IKEA is actively involved in children's social issues on a global level. The mission of the IKEA Social Initiative is to improve the rights and life opportunities of the many children - fighting for children's rights to a healthy and secure childhood with access to quality education. The range of projects, with primary partners, UNICEF and Save the Children, takes a holistic approach for creating a substantial and lasting change: improving the health of mothers and children, enabling access to a quality education for children, and empowering women to create a better future for themselves and their communities.

About Children's IKEA

Children's IKEA is based on the belief that children are the most important people in the world and the home is the most important playground. Part of the product development process includes collaboration with the world's leading children's experts, speaking to parents and studying children and their everyday life at home. All this knowledge goes towards designing products that are functional and safe while supporting children at every stage of their development. Children's IKEA

    IKEA: www.IKEA.ca
    Playreport: www.facebook.com/playreport
    Family, Kids and Youth: www.kidsandyouth.com/
    Research Now, London: www.researchnow.co.uk


For further information: For further information: Stefanie Niewada, Optimum Public Relations, (416) 934-8020, Stefanie.niewada@cossette.com

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