Key Research findings
Some of the key research findings are:
1. The individual Play index scores for each country is as below
a. UAE : 21 (It has stayed consistent from last year)
b. Qatar : 33
c. Oman: 21
d. Bahrain: 26
The above implies that the play related activities are the highest among children residing in Qatar followed by Bahrain compared to UAE and Oman.
2. A child’s conventional toys box comprises of an average of 7 toys. In addition to this, every child has 4.3 digital devices in their toy box. (Tablet, Laptop, PSP, PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Ninentdo or Wii). Nine out of ten children have at least one of these personal gaming devices. The Tablet is the most popular personal gaming device for the child.
As a result, almost 21% of a child’s time is spent indoors at home on a personal gaming device and/or television.
3. Close to 40% of the children prefer spending time on games played on personal devices. This preference is highest in Qatar at 50% and the lowest in Oman at 29%. In the age group of 9-12 years, this preference increases to 50%. This also infers the dependence on these games by 70% parents in an endeavor to keep their children entertained. 30% of parents are not aware of the games played by their children on these devices.
4. The incidence of playing games on personal digital devices is as high at 9.1% among children in the age group of 9-12 years whereas the creative play activities reduces to 1.9% amongst the children from the same ages.
5. Only 7% of a child’s time is spent on outdoor play. The preference towards Sports is also quite low among children in these countries averaging at 11% for the four countries. Out of this time, children allocate only about 4.3% of their day’s free time playing sports related activities and a mere 2.6% time is spent on creative activities like art, music, dance, etc.
6. In terms of Parental engagement with the child, the incidence of fathers playing with their child is 7% whereas the mother tends to spend almost 27% of her time thereby maintaining the main role in her child’s development. The ratio of both parents spending time with their child stands at 15%. Lastly, 40% of the mothers also believe that father is involved in their child growth at all stages.
7. Children spend almost 21% of their time playing alone on an average.
Some behavioural insights of the study are:
• The average time spent playing by children stands at an Index score of 25 in all four countries combined together.
• 4 out of 5 children from 6-12 years of age wake up before or at 6.00am on a weekday
• In UAE, children spend more time at school
• On an average, children are awake for 13.5 hours on weekdays and 10.5 hours in weekends.
• Play activities increase during the weekends when children have more time on hand due to the absence of a routine based schedule
• The younger age groups spend relatively more time playing as compared to the older children The older the child grows, he/she has lesser time on hand for play activities
• Asian children spend less time playing compared to those of Arab and Western expats.