Trying to balance your child’s outdoor play and indoor play? New statistics reveal that British parents are beginning to embrace the benefits of digital play for their children, with almost half (46%) believing their child’s problem-solving skills have improved as a result. The new research, from The LEGO Group also found that two in three (63%) British kids have more fun when playing with digital toys such as Fire tablets and Vtech Kidizoom Smart Watches.

The new report investigates the fusion of physical and digital play, or ‘Phygital’ and surveyed 500 UK adults and 500 UK children aged between 7-10 about their experiences playing with both physical toys and digital toys.

While the report found children and parents to be increasingly receptive to digital toys, traditional toy-play was found to enable the most imagination for children. Over half (60%) of kids stated that physical toys allow them to be more imaginative and it was found that over two-thirds (68%) would like to see more toys mix the digital and physical world.

British parents were also found to be receptive to both physical and digital toys. A third (34%) feel digital toys help prepare children for the future and 40% feel it helps build their child’ creativity. Moreover, a quarter of (25%) UK parents would like to see more toys merge play with digital or app elements, allowing children to get the best of both worlds.

However, proving that traditional toys are still firmly placed in the heart and minds of Brits, 2 in 5 believe that traditional toys aid manual skills and co-ordination and just under half (48%) feel that their child’s social skills also improve as a result.

In response to this trend, LEGO HIDDEN SIDE marks the first time the company introduces one of its play themes that blends physical and digital play (Phygital) with the release of an AR enabled smartphone app alongside classic LEGO bricks, allowing kids to have a hand in both worlds. The app experience will continue to expand with the addition of new ghosts, new game challenges, and exciting new gameplay, giving longevity and freshness to the experience, every time kids play.

Anita Cleare, Parenting Expert and Writer said “Digital toys can get a bad reputation due to the perceived stigma surrounding children and screen time. However, as the data shows, a balanced blend of both physical and digital play is hugely beneficial to your child’s development. Ensuring your child has lots of high quality inventive play-time, whether it be physical or digital, is paramount and will help ensure they are fuelling their creativity and imagination.

Marius Lang, Head of Marketing for the UK and Ireland, said: “We’ve always been focused on inspiring and developing the creativity of the builders of tomorrow and we believe that ‘Phygital’ play is a new, innovative way of doing so, blending our traditional bricks that sit at the core of everything we do with an innovative new solution.

LEGO Hidden Side is a totally new, experience-driven, story-supported play theme that blurs the lines between physical and digital play. It is the only play experience available today that seamlessly fuses augmented reality with physical constructions.”