Britain is officially a nation of kidults, with 72 per cent of grown-ups admitting playing makes them happier.

Research has revealed half of British adults say that play makes them feel more upbeat.

Jumping on bouncy castles, colouring in and trampolining were listed among the things which make grown-up kids happy, with two in five saying they get a thrill from playing childhood games.

But despite showing enthusiasm for childhood games less than half of parents say they find the time to regularly play with their kids.

Just 39 per cent say they make up their own games and play around the house, and only a fraction of parents now play traditional games with their children.

Linda Blair, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, said: “Playing is a fundamental part of human development and a way for children to learn how to engage and interact with the world around them.

“There are so many benefits to play.

“It boosts cognitive skills like increasing curiosity about the world and improving creativity, and also physiological skills such as improving balance, hand to eye coordination and motor skills.

“It’s not just kids who benefit from playing, but adults too.

“Playing makes everyone feel happier and increases positive bonds in family and friendship groups”.

The research has been released to mark the introduction of a family club at intu to encourage parents to take their time and shop, hop and play with their children.

Spacehoppers for shoppers are being rolled out across the country that let kids and grown-up kids hop while they shop at the shopping centres nationwide.

As well as the Happy S-hopping initiative, the family club will also include exclusive offers for some family retailers, advance notice of events and access to special things for parents and kids to enjoy together at their nearest intu shopping centre like giant swings and hopscotch.

Happy S-hopping zones will be rolled out as part of the launch of the family club in every intu shopping centre across the country including intu Trafford Centre, intu Lakeside and intu Metrocentre.

Roger Binks, customer experience director for intu, comments: “There is a still a big kid in all of us and our new family club is designed to give parents the time to play with their children when they’re on a family day out in our centres.

“We work really hard to create experiences that will put a smile on the faces of our 35 million shoppers, and by giving families a chance to shop, hop and play we hope we will make the experience a happier, more memorable one.

“At intu we have something for everyone and whether you’re here for a day out or come with a set shopping list we aim to ensure you leave happier than when you arrived.”

Top ten things that make grown-up kids happy

1. Riding on rollercoasters
2. Riding a bicycle
3. Rocking on swings
4. Jumping on bouncy castles
5. Going down slides
6. Colouring in
7. Building sandcastles
8. Trampolining
9. Playing in ball pits
10. Hopping on spacehoppers

For more information follow #Hoppiness on Twitter or visit to join the family club.


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