A study undertaken to promote Cartoon Network UK’s continuing Imagination Studios programme reveals that UK children prioritise noble traits such as humour and kindness.
The nationwide survey of 6-12 year olds, their parents and teachers found that, whilst 63% of kids prefer to draw over write and the majority would start by designing how their character looks, they place a greater emphasis on characters being “good”; a trend that carries over to the expectations they have for their friends.
When asked which traits they would choose for their own original character, 66% of kids opted for kind over popular, 53% chose clever over cool and 63% went for funny over friendly. Humour also came out as the attribute kids considered most important for their character to be and the number one thing they like best about their friends. Added to this, the study showed that children from an early age recognise the positive qualities in their friends: they like their friends to be funny, friendly and kind; they don’t want naughty friends.
The findings also reaffirmed children’s strong affinity with animals across both the real and animated worlds – following a recent Sky Kids survey that named Scooby-Doo and Tom & Jerry (renowned for their family-friendly, slapstick humour) as the top kids’ TV shows of all time. 33% of kids overall said they would choose to create a character in animal form, led by girls with 48%, and Vet was the #2 job choice for kids overall; the #1 choice for girls. Computer Game Designer came out as the #1 job for kids overall and was also the job more parents would choose for their child, over Doctor/Nurse or Lawyer.
Dr Sam Wass, child psychologist and academic at the University of East London and the University of Cambridge commented: “This research shows that, in an era of ever increasing sophistication and complication, kids still value the simple things in life like kindness and humour. Even with developments in technology and the evolution of cartoons, they have retained the simplicity and relatability that kids and their parents love. This new opportunity for children to engage in their own creative play, by creating drawings of their own family, or of real-life situations that they have encountered, is a wonderful way to encourage children to draw links between the imaginary and the real world.”
Open to children aged 6-13, the Imagination Studios programme invites children to freely express their creativity by a range of options, with the opportunity to possibly see their idea animated and aired on TV.
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