You might think meditation, exercise, calm spaces, and lots of deep breaths are the best way to relax. But it turns out British parents find playing STEM-games with their kids an excellent way to unwind.

STEM, short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths, are games and toys that are great for unlocking kids’ imagination with experimentation and problem-solving.

They’re also awesome for parents, as through playing, 67% of parents have found that it helps them to personally reduce stress, according to a new survey.

Six out of 10 parents (66%) found that unleashing a bit of competitiveness and problem-solving with their kids gave them a much-needed distraction from their busy lives, whilst over half (56%) said it even improved their emotional well-being.

The survey of 1,000 parents showed that while they are aware of the benefits of playing with their kids, there’s often too much going on with work or chores, which get in the way.

Ealing Times:

While 10-year-olds were found to have the biggest imaginations, it also showed that it dwindles with time as adulting takes hold, with only 8% of adults surveyed saying they are more imaginative now than when they were younger.

The news comes as Ravensburger, the team behind the GraviTrax STEM toy and construction system, is encouraging kids and their parents to reignite their imaginations and the connections of playtime, with the launch of a gravity-defying marble run structure at EUREKA! National Children’s Museum.

At three metres high, the impressive structure uses the power of magnetism, gravity, and kinetic energy to take marbles on an incredible route from sky to ground and for one day only, kids of all ages were able to test it out for themselves.

Award-winning science presenter Greg Foot teamed up with them to help kids and grown-ups explore the possibilities of their imagination through the design of their own marble run structures.

Greg Foot said: “Imaginations can be at their most powerful when we are kids and it’s no surprise that play has a big impact on this.

“STEM toys and games are great for encouraging creativity and unleashing the power of our imaginations, as their problem-solving nature, means we need to open our minds and remove our limitations.”

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Katy Fletcher at Ravensburger added: “The power that playtime can have benefits both kids and their parents, and our toys and games have all been designed to make playtime as exciting and engaging as possible and encourage kids of all ages to be as imaginative as possible.

"Our research shows respondents feel they are most imaginative when we are younger and as adults, living busy lives and working long hours, we don’t often get the time to let our imaginations run free. 

“So, it’s no surprise that many parents look forward to playtime with their kids, as not only is it great for connecting with them, but it also helps recapture imaginations.”

For more information on the GraviTrax system visit