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Books beat tablets for story-time this christmas

Books beat tablets for story-time this christmas

  • 7.7 million children will put books at the top of their Christmas list in 2014
  • Bedtime stories are on the rise with parents reading over three stories on average per week
  • Cinderella has come out as the nation’s favourite for both adults and children
  • Research into bedtime stories carried out by home furnishing retailer IKEA as part of its Soft Toys for Education campaign.

Father Christmas’ sleigh is due to be heavy with paper this Christmas as over 7 million children’s Christmas lists from the UK will be topped by books. The written word beat off rising competition from technology like iPads and smart phones, which fell into second place, followed by board games.

The research commissioned as part of the Swedish furniture retailer’s Soft Toys for Education campaign revealed that parents today read more bedtime stories than in previous generations, with parents reading an average of 3.6 bedtime stories per week, compared to just 2.4 when they were young.

Whether it’s the effect of modern films or just a timeless love for a royal romance, traditional Princess fairytales like Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel are children’s favourites, also topping the polls for parents. 29% of children favoured the rags-to-riches story of the girl with the glass slipper whilst 16% of parents admitted it was their favourite too.

And as well as a love for these classic stories, parents are writing their own just as frequently with over half of parents saying they make up stories for children.

With the appetite for stories still so strong, IKEA’s fairy-tale themed Soft Toys and a book are the perfect gift for any child for whom story-time is the highlight of their nightly bedtime ritual.

Carol McSeveney Children’s IKEA sales leader, commented, “Bedtime stories are a huge part of childhood as they teach valuable moral lessons as well as awakening the wonders of a child’s imagination. These statistics show that technology is in no danger of cannabalising the wonderful ritual of the bedtime story, and in fact it seems to be helping it grow with more children than ever before enjoying stories like Cinderella and Rapunzel.

Carol added, “We hope IKEA’s Soft Toy campaign will help grow the nation’s love of bedtime stories and fairytales by also helping improve the childhood of some of the world’s most under-privileged children.”

This year’s Soft Toys for Education campaign, where proceeds from soft toy sales help to fund Save the Children and UNICEF’s educational projects around the world, has been inspired by children's fairy tales, from cheeky elves and fairies, to cuddly goats and dragons.

To further the campaign and share a love of not only the tales but Fairytale storytelling techniques, the furniture retailer has produced a series of short videos that feature famous faces, including presenter Claudia Winkleman, actor James Nesbitt and actress Nina Wadia, voicing cuddly toys to tell hard hitting tales of children’s plights around the world.

Written in the style, and following the same format, as a classic fairytale, these stories tell of the difficulties faced by children around the world before resulting in happier endings thanks to the millions raised by IKEA customers through the Soft Toys for Education campaign.

For every soft toy purchased as part of the Soft Toys for Education campaign between now and 3rd January 2015, the IKEA Foundation will donate €1 to support educational projects run by Save the Children and UNICEF around the world. These projects are changing the lives of millions of children, such as those featured in the films. Since 2003 the campaign has reached more than 11 million children, but there are millions more children who still aren’t able to go to school and get the education they deserve.

To find out more, please visit our IKEA website ikea.co.uk

Media Enquiries

Lewis Marshall
0845 225 7126
media.lounge.uk@ikea.com