School, closed. Playgrounds, closed. Parties, cancelled. It’s an understatement to say the past twelve months have been tough for children. After months of lockdowns, over a third of parents (36%) say that their children are feeling isolated and lonely, with millions also reported as anxious, or unable to sleep1.
Studies from GOV.UK have also found that throughout the first lockdown and into the return to school, there was a clear lack of social connectedness, mainly for primary school children. Even after returning to school, some children have found it hard to reconnect with friendships groups2. Amongst all these cancellations and disappointments, there is one thing that has been proven to provide a little escapism, fun based learning and social support for these children across the country: play.
To celebrate the importance of play and provide support families over the months ahead, The Entertainer has unveiled Play is Never Cancelled – a programme of home friendly, social activities to spark excitement and keep children busy whilst all is not normal. Research has shown that one in three parents have felt out of their depth over the past year3, and the retailer hopes to provide some much-needed relief to this.
Over on The Entertainer’s dedicated Play is Never Cancelled blog, adults will find an array of fun ideas for virtual play dates – including virtual quizzes, socially distanced scavenger hunts and Zoom art classes.
From virtual talent shows and book clubs on a Monday, to puppet shows and karaoke on a Friday – there are hours and hours of content to keep children busy and encourage the all-important interaction with the friends and family they are missing so dearly.
As always, The Entertainer has a selection of top toys and games on sale online to keep children busy, with many of them less than half-price. The teams are eagerly awaiting welcoming everyone back safely from April 12.
Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman of The Entertainer, said: “Play has always been a crucial part of children’s development, its how they learn. However, this past year has seen children miss out on a huge number of fundamental moments which aid their social learning and mental health. For that reason, it is more important than ever to celebrate play and encourage it wherever possible. We hope families will find something for every child to enjoy playing with at The Entertainer because play is never cancelled!”