More than half of children lose their ‘sense of wonder’ about the world around them before turning age six, according to a new Disney survey.
A poll of 1,000 British parents with children aged three to six, found that 51 per cent believed their child’s curiosity began to decline way before the age of 10.
As such a staggering 94 per cent of parents believed the onus was on them to guide their little ones as they discovered the world.
A further 83 per cent of guardians admitted to needing help with keeping their excitement alive.
In response to these new findings, Disney UK has launched a brand new project called ‘Find Your Wonder’, a ‘Wonder List’ of 12 downloadable kids activities inspired by the studio’s princess characters.
Alongside the activities are a series of ‘Wonder Webisodes’ featuring celebrities Helen Skelton, Alice Dearing, and Jessica Gadirova.
Child Psychologist, Laverne Antrobus, who consulted on the making of Find Your Wonder, said: ‘Young children have a natural sense of curiosity, which helps them begin to navigate the world around them.
‘At this age, children develop their sense of adventure and wonder as they learn to use creativity through play and to discover what is possible.
‘As someone who has observed children playing at this age, it is evident that imaginative play – whether that be sock puppets, dress up, or interacting with toys and dolls – is a journey of self-discovery and a great way for them to find their own wonder’.
The study also identified what parents consider to be the most effective ways of preserving their child’s sense of wonder and imagination as they grow older.
TOP 10 ACTIVITIES PARENTS THINK HELP PRESERVE THEIR CHILD’S SENSE OF WONDER
1. Exploring nature
2. Exploring new places
3. Trying a new sport
4. Riding a bike
5. Going stargazing
6. Throwing a tea party
7. Learning tips about caring for pets
8. Learning a new dance
9. Designing a journal
10. Making a sock puppet
Exploring nature came up on top, followed by exploring new places, while 23 per cent suggested trying new sports.
And while these are considered the most effective, 70 per cent of parents agree that playing with toys helps keep a child’s imagination alive.
Carried out through OnePoll, the study also revealed what people regarded as the most important aspects of parenting.
While 33 per cent said supporting their child’s hobbies and interests were paramount, another 26 per cent focused on being a good role model.
Laverne added: ‘By encouraging children to be brave and try out new skills – such as throwing a tea party like Cinderella or swimming like Ariel – parents are ensuring their child’s creativity and passion for new discovery continues – which is an invaluable tool for life’.
Meanwhile Claire Terry, Senior Vice President of Disney Consumer Products said Disney ‘hoped to empower young children’.
She explained: ‘It is clear from the research that parents truly believe in the power of imaginative storytelling and the element of play when it comes to keeping a child’s wonder alive.
‘We know that families value and love Disney princesses for their inspiring stories of courage, kindness and adventure.
‘Parents trust Disney Princess characters to be good role models for their children as they reflect such positive attributes. We hope to empower young children to develop their confidence, and also try their hand at something new to keep that magical sense of wonder alive’.