Kicking a ball about in the back garden remains one of the most popular choices for keeping children entertained during the summer holidays, according to new research by the Football Association.
Some 2,000 parents with children aged five to eight years old were surveyed as part of the study by the governing body, with 78 per cent admitting how to tackle boredom during the break was an issue.
Just over half (51 per cent) of the parents revealed they struggled to encourage their children to exercise enough at times, with 47 per cent suggesting football as a suitable way of keeping them active.
When asked for the most popular location for a kickabout, the back garden came out on top with more than one in three (34 per cent) parents saying it was their child’s pitch of choice, just ahead of the local park (24 per cent), school (20 per cent) or at an organised club (11 per cent).
Meanwhile, more than a third (36 per cent) of parents felt that their child was now more interested in football following the Women’s World Cup in France, where the Lionesses reached the semi-finals.
The FA’s research also showed 92 per cent of parents believe it is important for them to play outdoors alongside their child. Just under half (48 per cent) felt it would be beneficial to get more information and ideas about football skills and games.
The FA SuperKicks app, launched this year in partnership with McDonald’s, aims to help parents and children aged five to eight with new ways to discover and enjoy football at all ability levels.
With hundreds of activities ranging from skills and drills to active challenges, quizzes and creative tasks, it focuses on rewarding play and learning to encourage participation.
Rob Mitchell, programme lead for the FA SuperKicks, said: “We know that whilst families look forward to their summer together, many parents feel under pressure to ensure their young children are happy and occupied throughout the holidays.
“The FA SuperKicks app has been designed to facilitate countless days of football fun, with hundreds of games, skills and challenges to help children develop and enjoy their active lives and engage a love of football, whatever their ability.
“We hope this proves a valuable tool for parents and coaches and helps inspire a lifelong relationship with the game.”
:: The FA SuperKicks app is now available to download for free, with no in-app purchases. For more information and to view an introductory video visit: www.TheFA.com/SuperKicks