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New Toy State survey shows parents want to play more with their kids – strive to substitute play time for TV time

NORWOOD, MA (July 29, 2014) – International toymaker Toy State is urging U.S. parents of young children to join their fellow parents in the UK on August 6th to celebrate National Playday – a day to turn off the TV and other screens, and instead spend time playing with your children.

Toy State issued the Playday call after its new survey showed U.S. parents are struggling with a significant gap – between what parents think is best use of time with their children and what they actually do with that time.

Results from the online survey, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Toy State in June 2014 among 281 parents of kids ages 3-12 show that 87 percent of parents of children age 3-12 think playtime is the best way to get quality time with their kids. Yet the number one activity these parents report doing with their children is to watch TV (84%).

“Parents know intuitively that playing directly with your kids, with no screen in between, helps us to be better parents,” said Andy Friess, general manager of US Operations for Toy State. “But parents struggle sometimes to actually do it. Playday is a great reminder to us of the importance of play – and an occasion to start making time for it.”

“We have Labor Day for us adults. Let’s start celebrating Playday for our kids.”

National Playday is celebrated in the UK on the first Wednesday in August. This year it falls on Aug. 6. Playday is a celebration of children’s right to play, and a campaign to highlight the importance of play in children’s lives.

“Before our eyes were fixed on tablets and second screens, parents spent more time at eye level with their children, playing with toys,” said Friess. “And we all were better for it – parents and kids. Screens are important but we have drifted out of balance. Let’s make time for more quality one-on–one play time. And let’s start on August 6th.”

According to the survey, after watching television (84%), the top ways parents of kids 3-12 report spending quality time with their children are reading books together (67%) and going shopping together (64%). Playing with toys together followed, at only 60 percent.

Yet the survey found 93 percent of parents of kids ages 3-12 agreed that playing with toys is beneficial for children, and 87 percent said it is the best quality time. Toy State also found that 74 percent agreed their child enjoys playing with toy cars/trucks.

Abbreviated Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States between June 4-6, 2014 among 2,036 adults ages 18 and older, of whom 281 are parents of kids ages 3-12 by Harris Poll. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Ian Meropol at imeropol@a-g.com.

About Toy State:
For 30 years, Toy State has been an innovator and industry leader in the manufacture of licensed and highly stylized lights & sound and radio controlled vehicles. Founded in 1984, Toy State’s core portfolio includes Road Rippers®, Hot Wheels® and James Bond 007™ lights & sound and radio controlled vehicles, as well as Cat® and Cat® Preschool construction toys. Working with the world’s leading automakers, and Caterpillar, the leading manufacturer of construction equipment, Toy State products provide hours of enjoyment for kids of all ages. For more information, visit www.toystate.com.

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Media Contact:
Ian Meropol
Allen & Gerritsen
imeropol@a-g.com
781-608-2958