14 November 2016 by Calan
This post is part of a series based on research into the toys, games, activities and gifts for children. We asked 1,515 British mums to complete a questionnaire, and for this question we were looking to identify their favourite games and activities at different ages.
Over time we are going to expand this research, adding to the level of detail. If you’d like to take part in future and receive a copy of the results, please subscribe to our blog using the form on this page and we’ll include you in the next questionnaire.
Download the full spreadsheet
While the results appear in this series of posts, what is really interesting is to see the lists horizontally side by side, as it shows how the popularity of particular games and activities changes as a child gets older. You can download a copy of the full spreadsheet by subscribing to our blog using the form on this page.
Child favourites are good for development
As you'll read in the next post on the games and activities that have had the biggest impact on child development, reading books and singing are highly regarded, and they also top the lists of favourite activities for young children.
If you think of a baby as starting life with a completely blank slate, it makes sense that they favour the activities that help them develop and learn the fastest. My youngest has just passed her first birthday and loves unpacking pots and taking everything out the fridge.
Peekaboo features very high in babies under 2 years old. According to Wikipedia, Peekaboo demonstrates an infant's inability to understand object permanence, an important stage of cognitive development for infants that is typically achieved at eight to nine months of age. For a young baby, revealing your face after hiding behind a pillow seems like magic, until they're old enough to understand that your face hadn't actually disappeared.
Hide-and-seek, crafts and puzzles
Hide-and-seek is another favourite with kids up to 6 years old, as is playing in the park and various crafts. Puzzles feature very high on the lists and are also mentioned a lot in activities that support child development. Imaginative role play is the most popular with 3-5 year olds.
Children’s favourite games and activities
Within each age-group heading I’ve indicated the number of children that participated in the questionnaire, and within each list I’ve highlighted the total number of times the game/activity appears in the list.
6-12 months (66 children)
12-18 months (84 children)
18-24 months (108 children)
24-30 months (135 children)
30-36 months (141 children)
3-4 years (234 children)
4-5 years (198 children)
5-6 years (135 children)
6-7 years (123 children)
7-8 years (90 children)
8-10 years (114 children)
10-13 years (87 children)
While this age group was included in the study, the results were limited due to a lot of parents not completing this question. We've therefore chosen to leave it out but may include it once we have more data.
Share this research with other mums
If you found this useful, please help us by sharing it with other parents. You can use the social buttons below to share it with your networks, and help us deepen the research over time.