Researchers say their findings
contradict speculation about the demise of traditional childhood past-times and
fears over the rise in new technology like computer games.
According to a report, imagination
among children ages three to 10 is just as popular as ever.
The BBC study, together with
parenting skills expert Pat Spungin, examined the lives of children in 1,446 UK
homes and looked at how often they engaged in imaginative activity.
One in five children has an
imaginary friend, with 62 per cent being girls between three and five years
When parents were asked about the
“kind” of imaginary pal their child had, most cited them as other little boys
or girls, some parents thought their child had fantasy pets or characters from
fiction, and many attributed their child’s alter-ego to an entirely made-up
A total of 43 per cent of children
play at make-believe every day, according to the report, and girls were found
to be “more imaginative” on a daily basis than boys.
Experience-based activities, such
as school, house and shop, top the list of favourite make-believe games, with
imaginary fictional characters like princesses and superheroes a close second.