Despite digital gadgets becoming an everyday essential for young and old, the younger generation still yearn for traditional toys; with more kids spending over five hours a week playing with classic toys (63 per cent) compared to PC and console gaming (54 per cent).
New research by UK toy retailer Argos has revealed that while computer games (69 per cent) and tablets and computers (50 per cent) top kids’ wish lists this Christmas, old favourites are not suffering in popularity.
The 1,000 seven to 11 year olds surveyed by Argos said traditional toys like arts and crafts (40 per cent), board games (40 per cent), bricks and construction toys (35 per cent), and sports equipment (33 per cent) still appear high on Christmas lists.
Further evidence of the digital play divide is struck again on Christmas day, with over a third (36 per cent) of kids claiming they will play with tech and traditional toys in equal measure on the big day. This means they are just as excited by the prospect of opening the new VTech Kiddizoom Smart Watch as the LEGO City Artic Base Camp.
Anita Naik, author and parenting expert, said: “Children today have a breadth of choice when it comes to toys so it is great to see they are interested in a balance and are not bored of board games! Both ‘techy’ and traditional toys are equally stimulating for a child’s development and the two combined are the perfect recipe for interesting play.”
When it comes to Christmas rituals, the traditional approach is king with nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of children using a pen and paper to write to Santa. However, a minority have adopted a digital approach, using email (13 per cent), tablets (10 per cent) and laptops (seven per cent) to create their lists.
One in 50 children from seven to 11 years old are even taking to Twitter to let Santa know what they want in their stockings.
Furthermore, the results found that kids start well before the festive season when it comes to list creation. Over a quarter (26 per cent) write theirs before Hallowe’en and seven per cent before the school summer holidays have even finished.
Linzi Walker, Chief Toy Buyer at Argos, said: “Toy trends develop and change every year, and although tech is now given a heavy focus, categories such as arts and crafts are a phenomenal trend this year. In many cases the more innovative and technologically advanced toys like Cayla are built upon the simple classics such as the toy doll.”