Parents spend average of £5.4k on kids hobbies during school years, study says

It's no secret that kids can be expensive.

But a new study shines a light on this by showing how parents spend more than 150 days and £5,400 on their children's hobbies over the course of their school years.

A poll of 2,000 mums and dads of five to 17-year-olds found they spend as much as £451 on their kid's interests every year.

And every week an average of two-and-a-half hours is spent getting hands-on with extra curricular activities like arts and crafts and sports.

A typical week sees parents make six car journeys to ferry children to various clubs, birthdays, and school – although 15% claim they make 10 or more trips.

But four in five said they treasure the time they spend with their child, whether it's quality time or helping them out with things.

The study was commissioned by Yoplait Kids to mark its official Team GB sponsorship at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

It also found football (28%), swimming (24%) and gymnastics (12%) are among the after-school clubs' children are part of.

And popular hobbies include cycling (23%), tennis (13%) and athletics (13%).

Almost three quarters of parents admitted they have encouraged children to take on a hobby because it was good for their health.

Nearly half (55%) like to encourage activities to keep them fit and healthy and 43% do so to grow their talents and ability in a particular field.

Helen Glover, double Olympic rowing champion and one of Yoplait's Team GB ambassadors, said: "As a mum to three small children, I think it's so important that parents do all they can to encourage their kids to be active and throw themselves into a hobby."

Sky Brown, who is Team GB's youngest summer Olympian skateboarder and another of Yoplait's Team GB ambassadors, added: "My parents have always supported me in everything I want to do.

"My dad skates and surfs, so we have always been able to do a lot of things together."

The study also found half of parents said their child's hobbies are typically physical rather than sedentary.

Although 58% admitted the time, they dedicate to their child leaves little time for themselves, 84 per cent accept that part of being a parent is putting their offspring first.

And they like to even get involved with hobbies, with swimming proving the most popular for mums and dads, followed by reading and football.

It was revealed 42% of the time parents spend with their youngster is classed as 'quality' time, which counts as being outside with them (60%) and doing something unrelated to schoolwork (58%).

But the past year has allowed six in 10 to spend more time with their child than usual which has led to more time walking (48%), playing (35%) and being outdoors (42%) together.

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More than half of those polled via OnePoll said it's important to them that their offspring leads a happy and active life.

Joanna Goodman, spokesperson for yogurt at General Mills, said: "It's great to see how many children are already taking part in Olympic event hobbies such as trampolining, swimming and athletics.

"The emergence of new Olympic sports such as climbing, skateboarding and karate will also really resonate with a younger audience.

"The amount of time parents dedicate to children's activities and education reinforces how encouraging they are in terms of ensuring youngsters today lead active lifestyles.

"Although the study shows how much hobbies are costing, exercise and having fun while being active doesn't have to have a cost attached, it can be enjoyed in the garden, a park or the playground.

"As the official yogurt partner of Team GB, we want to inspire families up and down the country to get active this summer.

"Working with an array of Team GB ambassadors will further our mission to help kids get the right daily nutrition to lead active, happy lives, growing a generation of strong, healthy kids."

If families are feeling inspired by this summer's Olympics, Team GB is providing free opportunities to try Olympic sports in local communities around the country on 14th and 15th August.

Go to www.IAmTeamGB.com to find out more.

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