Tech takes over at half term

Too much screen time playing games and watching videos on mobile phones and child iPads is feared to be a major factor in the decline in the ability of young children to talk effectively or hold a conversation
Too much screen time playing games and watching videos on mobile phones and child iPads is feared to be a major factor in the decline in the ability of young children to talk effectively or hold a conversation
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New research reveals a lifestyle shift among the younger generation towards more tech-focused half term holiday activities, as a third of 12 and 13-year-olds admit they can’t bear being on holiday if they don’t have Wi-Fi to check and update social media.

The research, unveiled by holiday comparison site TravelSupermarket ahead of October half term, shows how desperate today’s youngsters are to keep in touch with friends while away with their parents.

On average, kids typically chat to three friends on holiday, while one in ten 11 to 13-year-olds stay in contact with ten or more friends. On average, six to 13-year-olds say they chat with friends back home nine times a week while away on holiday, with 48 per cent of 12 and 13-year-olds doing so at least once a day.

TravelSupermarket has compiled a Top 20 Half Term Holiday Bucket List of activities voted for by kids aged six to 13.

Despite the tech factor, children are still keen to enjoy more traditional school holiday activities, with the top three including visiting a theme park (57 per cent), eating out at a restaurant (53) and going to a funfair (52).

It also seems nostalgic British holiday activities still play a part in kids’ lives, with having a picnic outside (37), sleeping in a tent (23), going on a train (22), skimming stones in the sea (20) and flying a kite (18) all making it onto the top 20 list.

Some kids would even opt to ditch texting in favour of sending an old fashioned postcard (15) and forego posting photos on social media to make a holiday scrapbook (10).

The research also revealed that today’s children have increasingly high holiday hopes, with expectations of two holidays per year and the half term break in Blackpool no longer cutting it for kids, with over half (56 per cent) saying if they could go anywhere on holiday they would go to America, and a third of six-year-olds choosing destinations such as Lapland and even the moon.

Meanwhile, the research also found the days of saving up pocket money for penny sweets and seaside souvenirs are long gone. Of the 1,000 children surveyed, 11 per cent were given £50 or more to spend on holiday.

Emma Grimster, spokesperson for TravelSupermarket, comments: “It appears there is nowhere safe from tablets and smartphones these days, with nearly a quarter of kids even taking them to the beach!

“However, it’s reassuring to see that nostalgic school holiday pastimes still play a part, with favoured activities including going to a funfair, having a picnic and skimming stones in the sea.

“October half term is the last chance for families to get away before Christmas with school holidays creating memories which last a lifetime,.

Top 20 Half Term Holiday Bucket List (according to six to 13-year-olds):

1. Visit a theme park (57%)

2. Eat out at a restaurant (53%)

3. Go to a funfair (52%)

4. Buy a souvenir (39%)

5. Make a new friend (38%)

6. Have a picnic outside (37%)

7. Have breakfast in the hotel (32%)

8. Play football (27%)

9. Sleep in a tent (23%)

10. Go on a train (22%)

11. Skim stones in the sea (20%)

12. Make a family video (19%)

13. Pack my own suitcase (18%)

14. Fly a kite (18%)

15. Look at the stars (16%)

16. Go to a museum (16%)

17. Go on a ferry (15%)

18. Send a postcard to family/a friend (15%)

19. Post a picture on social media which gets likes (13%)

20. Make a holiday scrapbook (10%).

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