King’s Lynn gift survey reveals parental fears

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An over reliance on technology means today’s children in Lynn are becoming less appreciative of traditional Christmas gifts, according to a new survey.

One in five children in Lynn don’t remember last year’s presents, but a mirror image four out of five parents still have fond memories of the festive items they received in their youth.

The study of more than 200 adults in Lynn, carried out on behalf of Stagecoach Theatre Arts School, found that seven in 10 of those polled still own treasured presents decades after receiving them.

The same number believe that they appreciated the gifts they were given at Christmas more than children do these days and 50 per cent wish that children would play with the gifts they are given for longer.

Seven out of 10 parents worry that hi-tech gifts are replacing traditional, more imaginative, play.

When describing their ideal gift, almost half believe that a gift that sparks the child’s imagination is the most important.

Sarah Kelly, Managing Director at Stagecoach said: “This research provides a fascinating insight into how the appreciation of gifts has changed over the generations, as well as highlighting parents’ concerns over technology related gifts.

“We can’t stem the flow of new technology, so it’s important to find ways to ensure children continue to interact and engage with one another. Traditional games are more sociable, but I’m sure most parents will agree that finding memorable gifts year after year can be challenging.

“That’s why this year we’ve launched Stagecoach gift vouchers as an inspiring alternative. Our classes train youngsters in drama, dance and singing and aim to fire the imagination. It’s a pretty unique gift that will hopefully be remembered for years to come.’

Television presenter and mother of two Angellica Bell knows about the importance of inspiring confidence and creativity from an early age. Angellica said: “When I was little I used to play with toys and games which required me to use my imagination and helped develop my social skills. I encourage my children to play similar games and don’t actually allow them to use a tablet or any tech devices. I feel nowadays they can be used as a substitute for activities which can spark a child’s imagination and encourage social interaction.”

Stagecoach, founded in 1988, has almost 600 schools throughout the UK with a further 72 overseas. Its classes offer training in drama, dance and singing to young performers, at weekends, and help build confidence and develop communication through performance skills.