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Should Young Kids Just Play?
AAP Says "Yes," PLAYSKOOL Survey Shows Parents Are Conflicted

PAWTUCKET, R.I. --(Business Wire)-- Dec. 12, 2006 Following the recent American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report, which illustrates that free, unstructured play is essential for helping children reach important developmental milestones, a new national survey conducted by PLAYSKOOL, a division of Hasbro, Inc., reveals that a majority of parents are struggling to embrace the notion of just letting their kids play.

The survey, which polled more than 500 parents nationwide, sought to uncover attitudes and opinions on free play within their child's life. While 55% of parents believe that the most important role of a toy is to entertain, a surprising 67% think children should start playing with educational toys by six months of age.

"Regardless of the generation or the location on this planet, play is a universal truth for kids. It's the very cornerstone of their childhood," said New York pediatrician, Dr. Laura Popper. "I see parents with the best and most loving intentions superimposing adult values on their children. I advise my patients not to look at play as wasted time. In fact, it's probably the most valuable time of all for kids."

Additional responses from parents revealed the following about how they feel about their child's playtime:

  • 94.7% feel it's very important that their child enjoy their playtime
  • 82% of parents are influenced by educational messaging on product packaging when shopping for toys
  • Nearly 59% said they sometimes let their adult ideas and/or opinions influence their child's playtime
"Too many toys in the market today have lost sight of the value of play," said Lorrie Browning, general manager, PLAYSKOOL. "There is a significant need for pure playtime in a child's life, specifically in the early developmental stages. The role of toys should support and encourage the value of free, unstructured, fun play."

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Hasbro (NYSE: HAS - News) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.