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New Survey on Free Time Illustrates the Challenges Today's Families Face in an Age of Screens

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New Survey on Free Time Illustrates the Challenges Today's Families Face in an Age of Screens

Unstructured Time is Crucial for Kids' Total Wellbeing: Physically, Emotionally and Socially

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, July 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- GoGo squeeZ, the leading brand in healthy portable snacks for kids, released new findings today that reveal the complex challenges families face when it comes to enjoying free time in today's busy world. The survey found that 72 percent of parents feel that their kids have less free and unstructured time when compared to their own childhoods. And according to "Free to learn: Why unleashing the instinct to play will make our children happier, more self-reliant, and better students for life," kid's unstructured time, or free time that is spent with no particular goal or learning objective in mind, has dwindled to a historic low of only 30 minutes per day on average.

Additional survey highlights and takeaways include:

  • 76 percent of parents say their kids engage in more screen time than they'd like, which could be leading to less unstructured time. Experts say this could have serious repercussions for the total wellbeing of kids and their ability to "self-direct" their own free time activities, which can influence their development, health and happiness.
  • To minimize screen time, 73 percent of parents admitted that they schedule structured activities for their kids. And even when kids do have free time, almost half of the parents surveyed confessed they think it's important for them to have influence and control on how their kids experience it. These findings were reinforced by a "social experiment" video the brand produced in an effort to further understand and raise awareness of this issue.
  • 85 percent believe scheduled activities like sports and clubs lead to greater success in life, but Dr. Robert Murray, pediatrician and vice chair of the board of directors of the nonprofit organization Action for Healthy Kids, notes that often the inverse is true. "Self-directed activities with peers help build crucial social and emotional skills, which are actually a better predictor of future success in school and life than IQ."
  • Only 5 percent of parents think school is a place where their kids engage in the most free time, however "schools can be playful environments where discovery, imagination, and the health of the whole child is supported through physical activity and unstructured time," says Rob Bisceglie, CEO of Action for Healthy Kids.

"As a society, we've started to favor greater structure instead of letting kids just be," says Dr. Murray, pediatrician and lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics' The Crucial Role of Recess. "Parents shouldn't feel like they have to schedule activities to keep their kids constantly preoccupied—boredom is often the canvas for creativity. It can lead to new interests and experiences."

To raise awareness about this pressing issue and promote the importance of unstructured time, GoGo squeeZ is launching their "BE Time" initiative, which asks parents to commit to providing a minimum of 30 more minutes of unstructured time for kids each day. Additionally, to help create more opportunities for BE Time in schools, GoGo squeeZ is partnering with Action for Healthy Kids to provide three $25,000 grants for schools to create more BE Time spaces.

"Kids today are facing unique challenges we did not experience when growing up," says Helene Caillate, chief marketing officer for GoGo squeeZ. "BE Time is simply the time and space needed for our kids to nourish their imaginations, bodies, and relationships. We could all use more BE Time, step away from the screens and be outside with the people we love."

For more information, parents can visit BETime.org to watch a "social experiment" video with real families, read an inspirational guide or the "BE List" for how busy families can implement BE Time, and commit to giving their kids 30 more minutes of unstructured time.

Survey Methodology
The survey was commissioned by GoGo squeeZ and conducted by Edelman Intelligence, a full-service consumer research firm. Fielded between June 11- 15, 2018, the online questionnaire surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults with children ages 12 and younger, representative of the general parent population by age, race, income, and gender. As a member of The Insights Association in good standing, Edelman Intelligence conducts all research in accordance with MRA Marketing Research Standards and adheres to the CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics.

About GoGo squeeZ®
GoGo squeeZ's mission is to make it easier for kids and families to be healthier and happier. We're proud to be the leading squeezable, all natural, 100 percent fruit in a pouch, since 1998. GoGo squeeZ makes on-the-go snacking nutritious and delicious with more than 30 flavors of squeezable applesauce, fruit & veggieZ and yogurtZ. Each pouch is crafted with the highest quality, natural ingredients. "BE Time" is GoGo squeeZ's initiative to raise awareness about the benefits of letting kids BE.

Contact: Elizabeth Lewis, Elizabeth.Lewis@edelman.com

 

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SOURCE GoGo squeeZ

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