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2 November 2022

Ingka Centres open pop-up PlayLabs, bringing parents and children together in the spirit of play

  • Ingka Centres’ Meeting Places in Europe and China are set to open the PlayLab, offering a unique and meaningful play experience
  • The launch comes as new research reveals around 40 per cent of parents admit they have forgotten how to play with their little ones as they have got older, whilst 54 per cent believe play is still important to adults
  • The PlayLab is designed to encourage and inspire parents and children to play more together, and will feature a unique Anti-Gravity Room, immersive 3D Art Exhibition and hands-on Wall Mural

Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group, is set to open a first-of-its-kind PlayLab, giving visitors and local communities in Europe and China the chance to fully immerse themselves in a series of interactive and educational activities, suitable for the whole family to enjoy. Whether visitors are out for the day or shopping, the PlayLab is specially designed to inspire parents and children to enjoy playful moments together.

The PlayLab launch comes as new research from Ingka Centres conducted in China, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK reveals on average 55 per cent of adults spend less than four hours a week playing with their children – the equivalent of under three per cent of the week. That said, 54 percent of parents believe that adults still need to play as they get older despite 40 per cent admitting they’ve forgotten how to.

To help drive playfulness, the activities in the PlayLab are not only for the young but also the young at heart. At the PlayLab, visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the 3D Art Exhibition and Illusion Space where there will be awe-inspiring visual effects. Shoppers can explore a topsy-turvy world in the Anti-Gravity Room or unleash their inner artist, by picking up a paint brush and getting creative at the Wall Mural.

While parents recognise the benefits play has on their children, the top three barriers that still get in the way of these memorable moments include busy work lives (62 per cent), the idea that children play better with others their own age (38 per cent), and a lack of space in the home for adequate playtime (27 per cent).

According to the parents surveyed, their favourite ways to have fun with their kids is to play with toys (63 per cent), go to the park (52 per cent) and get stuck into a new book (46 per cent).

Those unable to make it down to the PlayLab are invited to try out the online VR Kit at home. The kits are easy to assemble and can be used to explore a library of free VR experiences to use on a smartphone.

Jens Nielsen, Global Commercial and Digital Director Ingka Centres, says that “It’s time we all started inserting a little more play into our lives. We know the benefits of play are immensely important for overall wellbeing, so we are thrilled to be launching PlayLabs in our Meeting Places across Europe and China, helping to create bonding moments for families that will become lifelong memories. This activation forms part of our long-term goal to bring together families and friends for quality time beyond the shopping experience at our Meeting Places.”

Overview of PlayLab activities:

  • 3D Art Exhibition an immersive space to explore art in three dimensions using special glasses
  • Anti-Gravity Room step into the room and explore an upside-down world
  • Wall Mural where all ages can pick up a paint brush and unleash their inner artist
  • Illusion Space a space that will trick your mind using optical illusions
  • Science Experiments will take place and examine what items float and sink when placed in water
  • Food Experiments & Taste Tests designed to teach children about the many dimensions of taste and flavour
  • Lab Riddles will be placed throughout the space and will test children’s general knowledge, with the chance of winning prizes
  • Soap Bubble Shows to explore and create soap bubble experiments
  • Animal Scale Wall designed to explore the depths of the ocean, the wall teaches little ones how big and small sea creatures compare to humans

Notes to Editors

Research was carried out by 3Gem Research & Insight in July 2022. In total, 2,000 parents were surveyed across China, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Data has been weighted to be a representative sample of parents with children under 18. 3Gem Research & Insights utilise industry-standard panel management systems and adhere to stringent quality control GDPR procedures. 

About Ingka Centres:

Ingka Centres is part of the Ingka Group (which also includes IKEA Retail and Ingka Investments). Ingka Centres has 50 years of experience in shopping centres and today works with over 3000 brands across its portfolio of 44 assets in 13 markets. Ingka Centres creates its Meeting Places by collaborating with local communities, as well as its tenants and partners, to ensure they are destinations with emotional meaning that add value and build social connections.

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