Nearly 40% of young children have less than 1 hour play daily: survey

03/30/2020 07:13 PM
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Taipei, March 30 (CNA) Nearly 40 percent of children in Taiwan spend less than one hour playing games, while 40 percent of children aged nine to 12 frequently play online games, according to a survey released Monday by the Child Welfare League Foundation.

Although the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) suggests every child should enjoy at least one hour of free play each day to promote their healthy development, 37.7 percent of children aged 6-9 in Taiwan have less than one hour of free play every day and 40 percent of children aged 9-12 play for no more than one hour per day, the foundation said.

The survey also found that 43.7 percent of elementary school students have less than one hour of free play on week days and usually play on weekends.

As children get older, they generally spend more time at school, doing homework and taking part in extracurricular activities, leaving very little time for leisure activities, according to the foundation.

Meanwhile, 40 percent of children aged nine to 12 often play online games and 80 percent of parents consider such games to fall within the scope of "free play," the survey found.

In fact, children playing electronic games passively receive a large amount of audio-visual information but seldom have opportunities for active participation or bringing their creativity into play, the foundation noted.

The survey also found that more than 40 percent of parents spend at least five days a week playing with their children, while 15.3 percent seldom do so (1-2 days per month, seldom or never).

In addition, only 54.3 percent of children regularly go outdoors, to such venues as parks or riversides, while 38 percent constantly visit indoor venues, such as hypermarkets, shopping centers, department stores or convenience stores.

The survey was conducted by the foundation from Dec. 24, 2019 to Jan. 22, 2020, using online questionnaires sent to parents of children aged 1-12. A total of 707 valid samples were collected.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Evelyn Kao)

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