Press Release | 27 Jul 2021

Summer of fun: Parents set to spend £1,300 on children’s activities during the summer holidays

As 54% of parents are worried about keeping children occupied, with 31% concerned about screen time, Vodafone offers 10,000 free e-books to help parents keep children entertained in the holidays and educate them about online safety.

  • Research reveals parents will spend up to £1,300 on activities during the summer break.
  • 54% of parents are worried about keeping children occupied, with 31% concerned about screen time.
  • Vodafone offers 10,000 free e-books to help parents keep children entertained in the holidays and educate them about online safety.
  • The e-books are available from the Vodafone Digital Parenting website, which offers resources and expert advice to help families live a happy and safe digital life.

New research from Vodafone* reveals parents will spend up to £1,300 on activities and day trips to keep their children entertained during the summer holidays. It also suggests that more than half (54%) of parents are worried about keeping their children occupied and 31% are concerned about how much time their children will spend online.

To help parents keep their children occupied over the summer and educate them on the importance of online safety, Vodafone has partnered with Andersen Press to offer 10,000 free digital copies of Chicken Clicking, Troll Stinks and Old Macdonald Had a Phone, written by author Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross. The books explore themes of internet bullying, managing screen time and being mindful of internet predators in fun and engaging stories.

They are available to download, for free.

cover image of the Chicken Clicking Digital Parenting ebook
Chicken Clicking: be aware of befriending online and use the internet mindfully

The study, which polled 1,000 parents with children aged 4-16, found that day trips (57%), walks (56%) and going to the park (50%) were the most popular ways to keep children entertained. A third of parents in the survey plan for their children to read books. It also highlights that the average family will go on up to three different day trips during the holidays, each costing an average of £75. They will also enjoy five different activities every week.

In addition, the research found that half (49%) of parents believe their children will spend more time online and watching TV during the summer holidays compared with term time, with three-in- 10 (31%) admitting they are worried about how much time their child will spend online. Almost 20% are concerned about online bullying during the holidays.

One-in-five (18%) of parents say they wouldn’t feel confident teaching their children about online safety, while almost three-in-five (57%) said they don’t know how to monitor their children’s online activity. Over half (56%) aren’t sure how to block websites. One-in-seven (14%) worry their child doesn’t understand the risks of using the internet, apps and online gaming. A significant proportion (16%) feel children should be taught about online safety from the age of five.

cover image of the Old MacDonald had a Phone Digital Parenting ebook
Old Macdonald Had a Phone: tackles the subject of being mindful of screen time.

Helen Lamprell, General Counsel and External Affairs Director, Vodafone UK, said: “Many of us worry about extra screen time during the school holidays. Even with our best efforts to keep children entertained, some online activity is almost inevitable for many.

“That’s why it is so important to give parents and carers the tools they need to help children navigate the online world safely and happily. I urge everyone to download these brilliant books to help. And we have many more resources available on the Vodafone Digital Parenting website to help families enjoy tech, safely.”

Emma Robertson, Co-Founder of Digital Awareness UK, added: “We tend to see a spike in issues such as online bullying, sexting or exposure to inappropriate content during the summer holidays as children spend more time using devices.

“While screen time can be a worry for parents, it’s important to remember that technology has been a lifeline for many young people during this pandemic, and not all screen time is bad – many of our young people will use devices during the summer holidays to continue learning and socialising and creating.

“Ensuring that the conversations we have with our children about technology are balanced, as well as the amount of time we spend on and off screens is key.”

cover image of the Troll Stinks Digital Parenting ebook
Troll Stinks: an ebook covering issues such as cyberbullying, being kind online and taking/sharing pictures

The Vodafone Digital Parenting website is also packed full of resources and expert advice for parents to help them make the right digital choices for them.

– ends –

Notes to editors

*Research conducted by 72Point, polling 1,000 UK parents of children aged 4-16, July 2021.

The digital books are available as pdf downloads. They will be available for three months, from the 27 July 2021.

Jeanne Willis (Author)

Jeanne Willis is an award-winning children’s author and scriptwriter. She had her first picture book published by Andersen at the age of 21, and has won the Silver Medal Smarties Prize (Tadpole’s Promise), the Nasen Special Needs Award (Susan Laughs), the Sheffield Children’s Book Award (Who’s in The Loo) and the Red House Children’s Book Award (Bottoms Up). Jeanne has also worked on scripts for TV, including Polly Pocket and The Slow Norris, and a pilot TV series for Dr Xargle.

Tony Ross (Illustrator)

Tony Ross has been illustrating books for over 40 years, and has been published all over the world. He is perhaps best known for his much-loved Little Princess series, which has been adapted for TV and is currently showing on Channel 5’s Milkshake, and for his collaboration on David Walliams’ best-selling children’s books. Tony’s books have been shortlisted for The Laugh Out Loud Book Awards (Slug Needs a Hug) and the Kate Greenaway (Dr Xargle’s Book of Earth Tiggers), and Tadpole’s Promise won the Silver Medal Smarties Prize. He has been named as the best-selling illustrator in the UK for three years in a row, and he is the UK’s libraries’ most-borrowed illustrator. He lives in Macclesfield.

About Andersen Press 

Andersen Press is a leading independent children’s publisher, and home to some of the biggest names in the world of children’s books, including the much-loved picture book characters Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and the Little Princess. Andersen Press is the publisher of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Kwame Alexander, Susin Nielsen, Julian Clary, David Roberts, Tony Ross, David McKee, and Alex Wheatle. The company was founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

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Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


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