Shoppers will literally be jumping for joy around the country this week with the rollout of spacehoppers for shoppers that let kids and grown-up kids hop while they shop at intu shopping centres nationwide as part of intu’s pledge to make customers smile.
The ‘Happy S-hopping’ initiative is part of the launch of intu’s new family club, which aims to give parents and children time to play together in its centres. It follows research that play makes people happier, but less than half of parents (49 per cent) find the time to regularly play with their kids and 61 per cent say they don’t think they devote enough time to playtime.
The study also found that two-thirds of parents (65 per cent) in the UK would also like their children to play more non-computerised games and take up traditional favourites like Hopscotch, Kick the Can and Red Rover. According to existing studies, active play like hopping on spacehoppers also helps to enhance childhood development by improving balance and cognitive and motor skills.
The research also revealed that Britain is a nation of ‘big kids’ with 63 per cent of adults saying they still get the same thrill and excitement playing childhood games with their children as they did when they were kids themselves. Going down slides, jumping on bouncy castles, riding on rollercoasters, rocking on swings and hopping on spacehoppers were among the top ten things that make ‘grown-up kids’ happy.
Top ten things that make grown-up kids happy
- Riding on rollercoasters
- Riding a bicycle
- Rocking on swings
- Jumping on bouncy castles
- Going down slides
- Colouring in
- Building sandcastles
- Playing in ball pits
- Hopping on spacehoppers
Linda Blair, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, said:
“Playing is a fundamental part of human development and a way for children to learn how to engage and interact with the world around them. There are so many benefits to play. It boosts cognitive skills like increasing curiosity about the world and improving creativity, and also physiological skills such as improving balance, hand to eye coordination and motor skills. It’s not just kids who benefit from playing, but adults too. Playing makes everyone feel happier and increases positive bonds in family and friendship groups. The introduction of a family club at intu to encourage parents to take their time and shop, hop and play with their children is a really good idea.”
Roger Binks, customer experience director for intu, comments:
“There is a still a big kid in all of us and our new family club is designed to give parents the time to play with their children when they’re on a family day out in our centres. We work really hard to create experiences that will put a smile on the faces of our 35 million shoppers, and by giving families a chance to shop, hop and play we hope we will make the experience a happier, more memorable one. At intu we have something for everyone and whether you’re here for a day out or come with a set shopping list we aim to ensure you leave happier than when you arrived.”
As well as the Happy S-hopping initiative, the family club will also include exclusive offers for some family retailers, advance notice of events and access to special things for parents and kids to enjoy together at their nearest intu shopping centre like giant swings and hopscotch.