Children do not want entertainment but simple pleasures in nature

According to Sainsbury’s Kid’s Simple Pleasures Index – yes the British food chain) poll with 1,500 children aged 5-11 nationwide children want to enjoy nature on their free time.  They asked the children to rank their favorite “summer frolics across criteria such as how much fun it is, how happy it makes them feel and how special and memorable it is.”

Many parents feel they have to entertain their kids. But according to the study parents don’t need to throw money at the leisure complex (12th place) and visits to theme parks (didn’t even make kids top ten – it ended up on 21th place).  The low cost pleasures were winners!

The index – released in conjunction with polling of 2,000 parents of 5-11 year olds – shows that the simple pleasures children most enjoy now hark back to what their parents’ rate as their fondest childhood memories.  Almost seven in ten (68%) parents cited playing with their friends as their most cherished childhood summer memory while over half (56%) said simple garden fun, riding their bike (52%) and going to the park (51%).

Sainsbury’s have promised customers to “Live Well For Less” and their goal with this study is to demonstrate “how children can enjoy the simple pleasures in life without their parents spending a fortune”. Sainsbury’s are also offering inspirational guides on free activities such as teddy bear picnics and woodland walks for parents who are running out of ideas at the Sainsbury’s Live Well for Less website.

I find this appealing EVEN if I understand that the Sainsbury study itself is a part of their positive branding campaign (with a goal to sell more cheap stuff).  Sainsbury is a cheap food chain and even people without a lot of money can shop there. If they can give parents a feeling that being a good parent is not the same as giving the kids expensive sports equipment or take them to expensive free time activities I applaud the study and their effort!

The UK’s top simple pleasures, when compared against cost, as voted for by kids across the country are:

  1. Playdate in the garden
  2. Water fight
  3. Building a den in the garden with family or friends
  4. Bike ride
  5. Outdoor games e.g. Tag, stuck in the mud or hide & seek
  6. Climb a tree
  7. Mud pie making
  8. Berrypicking
  9. Eating ice cream in the sun
  10. Feeding the ducks
  11. Planting flowers
  12. Trip to the cinema
  13. Leisure complex activities (ice skating, bowling, etc)
  14. Picnic
  15. Playing in a paddling pool or sprinkler in the garden
  16. Flying a kite
  17. Trip to the local beach/lido or national park
  18. Backyard camping with family or friends
  19. Farm trip
  20. Trip to the zoo / safari park
  21. Theme park or attraction
  22. Playing on the computer

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