Eureka! Play report: Play for Today

27 October 2014

Eureka!, the multi-award winning children's museum based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, occupies a
unique position in the nation's educational landscape. Comprising over 4,000sqm of exhibition
space whose bespoke design has been informed by sector-leading museum development and
educational expertise, Eureka! represents an international centre of excellence in the field of playbased

The experts at Eureka! are highly-regarded advocates of the primary importance of play, within the
wider context of learning and child development. Between them they demonstrate a wealth of
experience encompassing the diversity and complexity of childhood, challenging opinions on the
sexualisation of children, the commercialisation of childhood and the child health and wellbeing

During the summer of 2014, the museum carried out a survey of contemporary trends in play,
seeking responses from both adults and children in order to obtain a balanced perspective. The
results demonstrate considerable changes in the landscape of play from one generation to the
next, and highlight parental anxieties that reflect the economic and risk-averse nature of
contemporary society.

Key Findings:

2823 participants: 48% children (aged 5-11), 52% adults

  • 81% of children prefer to play outside as opposed to watching TV

  • 67% of children have a preference for making up their own games

  • 59% of children don't play beyond their own garden alone

  • 33% of adults feel they don't have enough time to play with their children

  • 95% of adults believe risks in play benefit their child

  • Significant changes in where children prefer to play compared with where their parents

played as children, with a clear reduction in play on the street and in the wider countryside.

View the full press release here:

View the report here:

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