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Building sandcastles? Not when there?s a game console to play with

At one time, families could expect 2 or 3 weeks away from it all, with only an occasional breeze to disturb the simple pleasures of the beach. Sadly, times have changed and an increasing number of holidaymakers now bring games consoles, personal media players and mobile phones to while away the hours between snorkling.

According to a recent survey by holiday accommodation website,, only 15% of children are content to build sandcastles, with most rejecting the bucket and spade so favoured by 53% of their parents' generation.

Grown-ups are just as bad. Unwilling to leave the world behind, they choose to bring it with them in the form of laptops and blackberries, setting the example to their offspring. The survey, which involved over 2,500 people, showed that nearly half of children pack up to £500 worth of technology when they go on vacation which they will use for one to two hours each day.

This trend concerns clinical psychologist Penny Spinks. “Holidays should be a way in which families can get closer together and reinforce their bond.” She believes game consoles should either be left at home or at the very least rationed to short periods. “Holidays help with children’s social skills, are better for their fitness and help and will refresh them.”