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Half of children start to lose their ‘sense of wonder’ by the age of six, study shows

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Half of children start to lose their ‘sense of wonder’ by the age of six, according to parents.

A poll of 1,000 mums and dads with children aged three to six found 51 per cent believe their little one’s fascination with the wider world starts to decline before they get anywhere near double digits.

As such, 94 per cent believe a key part of their role is nurturing their little ones’ curiosity and joy in making new discoveries – so they can reach their full potential.

And the study by Disney found 83 per cent of parents want help keeping the wonder alive in their own children.

Following the findings, ‘Find Your Wonder’ has been launched – it includes a ‘Wonder List’ with 12 downloadable kid’s activities inspired by the studio’s princess characters.

As well as a series of ‘Wonder Webisodes’ featuring Helen Skelton, Alice Dearing, and Jessica Gadirova.

Child Psychologist, Laverne Antrobus, who consulted on the initiative, 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 – the journey of self-discovery is a great way for them to find their own wonder.”

The study also identified what mums and dads consider to be the most effective ways of preserving and nurturing their child’s sense of wonder and imagination as they grow older.

Exploring nature (61 per cent) came top, followed by exploring new places (46 per cent) and trying new sports (23 per cent).

And while these are considered the most effective, 70 per cent agree playing with toys helps keep a child’s imagination ‘alive.’

Laverne Antrobus added: “By encouraging children to be brave to try 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 – an invaluable tool for life.”

Carried out through OnePoll, the study also revealed what those polled regard as the most important aspects of parenting.

And 33 per cent said supporting their child’s hobbies and interests, while 26 per cent said being a good role model.

Claire Terry, SVP, Disney consumer products, games & publishing EMEA, added: “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, also try their hand at something new and keep that magical sense of wonder alive.”

Top 10 activities parents think help preserve their child’s sense of wonder and imagination:

  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

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