New survey reveals how much play dates really cost and it’s a lot more than we thought

Parents are forking out £1,500 a year to keep their kids entertained with playdates, according to a new study.

Out of 1,000 mums and dads with children aged five or under surveyed, researchers found that they arrange around three playdates every month – with each one costing just under £40.

And according to the research commissioned by Teletubbies, it seems a standard snack and movie is not enough for these parents, who it turns out, spend 20 hours over a typical 12 month period organising ways to keep their child and friends entertained.

The research shows that four in 10 parents will plan events like superhero-themed activities, making pizza together and playing dress-up.

Only the very best snacks will do for 41 per cent of parents and two in five will give their house a good spring clean just for the benefit of their children’s friends.

Others will even hire an entertainer, with more than one third admitting they go all out just to impress other mums and dads.

A spokesman for Teletubbies said: ‘The Teletubbies love to play – in fact, you could say that they are on a constant playdate.

‘We know how important play is to a child’s development especially in the early years, but we also know that playdates can be stressful for some parents and they don’t have to cost a fortune either.’

Dr Amanda Gummer said: ‘Playdates are a great way for children to socialise and develop skills such as communication, turn-taking and sharing.

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‘Children benefit from being left to play with their peers.’

Out of the 1,000 parents surveyed, 75 per cent of them agree that while it may be stressful or expensive to plan playdates, seeing their kids have fun makes it all worth it.

A spokesman for Teletubbies added: ‘Our research shows that parents clearly see the value in organising playdates and realise how important they are for their children.’