• Inspirational video interviews with five wise children released to give child’s eye view on the things that matter
  • A third of children believe parents are on mobile phones too much
  • Over half of children believe that they are seen but not heard at home
  • 48% of UK adults feel they do not have enough time to play with their children
  • Over a quarter (26%) of adults are often too stressed to enjoy playing with their children
  • Children identified their mothers as twice as likely to be stressed than their fathers

IKEA has today unveiled research showing that British parents and children feel they do not have enough time to play together, with stress, mobile technology and work getting in the way of family time. To highlight the new findings, an adorable series of video guides, featuring children aged between 5 -7 talking to their teddies, has been produced.

The children tackle subjects like ‘how to be happy” and “what children need from adults” as well as telling us “the importance of education” and “how to find your imagination”, using their teddies as props to communicate. All of the Teddy Talks videos showcase soft toys that raise money for IKEA’s annual Soft Toys for Education Campaign - an initiative that has raised millions to support educational programmes around the world run by Save the Children and Unicef.

The IKEA report of over 2,000 British children and parents found there is a willingness from families to play together more.* A third (33%) of children think mobile phones get in the way of quality time and would like parents to put down their mobile devices more. Nearly three quarters (74%) of parents would like to introduce a time at home that mobiles phones are not used. The findings also identified that nearly half (48%) of UK adults believe they do not have enough time to play with their children. 

In the UK 22% of children currently take a mobile device to the dinner table and during the week 79% of children said they watch TV while they eat. 

IKEA surveyed over 1,000 British children to find out what would make them happier and help bring children and their parents together.**

In order of importance, the children polled said that the top 10 things they would like their parents to do were… 

  1. Come home earlier from work
  2. Go outdoors together
  3. Parents to join in with playing with toys
  4. Play a video game together
  5. The family to play a board game together
  6. Find time to read together
  7. Get cooking and bake together
  8. Help with homework
  9. Watch TV at the same time
  10. Set time aside to talk

While currently over half of children (53%) believe they are seen but not heard at home the research of 1,000 children found there is hope that parents and children can find a happy medium.  

72% of children believe that their fathers were big kids while 94% suggested that parents find some or little time to play with them  

Clare Harper, Children’s IKEA Sales Developer, UK & Ireland said “After listening to what children had to say, we have been inspired to help them and their parents to reconnect through play by producing products that help to facilitate this. In the Teddy Talks videos we hope to raise awareness of these issues and give children a voice to spread wisdom that encourages happy families.

As part of the Teddy Talks series we asked children about the importance of education which, as well as playing, is a crucial part of a child’s development.  At IKEA, we see children as the most important people in the world. 

We believe every child has the right to a healthy, secure childhood and access to quality education, no matter where in the world they live. This year is the 13th year of our Soft Toys for Education campaign and we’re so proud that through the initiative we have been able to help millions of vulnerable children around the world gain access to a quality education through programmes run by Save the Children and Unicef.”

For every soft toy, children’s book, dressing up clothing and children’s card games sold between now and the 19 December 2015, the IKEA Foundation will donate €1 to support educational programmes run by UNICEF and Save the Children around the world. 

This year the campaign aims to raise €700,000 in the UK & Ireland, to add to a total of €77 million since it began in 2003, which has reached more than 11 million children through 99 projects in 46 different countries.  €100,000 can help Save the Children provide quality and accessible education in 35 schools for children with disabilities in the Philippines, or help UNICEF to build five pre-school centres in Madagascar which have classrooms, toilet facilities and clean drinking water. 

Alongside the other children giving their Teddy Talks is eight-year-old Olivia Wildman and her teddy ‘Stinky the Skunk’. Olivia was selected as the UK winner of the IKEA Soft Toys Drawing Competition in which children from across the world were asked to let their imagination run wild and create fantastic creatures to be turned into physical teddies as part of the campaign.

To watch the Teddy Talks videos, go to: https://www.youtube.com/user/ikeauk  

 For more information about the campaign, or to purchase a soft toy, visit http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/good-cause-campaign/soft-toys-for-education/index.html 

 - Ends –

Notes to editors:

*Sample taken from the IKEA Play Report 2015 

**Sample of 1,000 children aged 5-12 people surveyed for IKEA in November 2015

For more information, please contact:

Unicef UK Press Office | lillyc@unicef.org.uk | 02073756212

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children.  As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit Unicef.org.uk