Make-believe games such as Cowboys and Indians or Doctors and Nurses are still considered the most popular with children today, research from Sainsbury’s has revealed.

Despite the rise of computers, tablets and an array of modern gadgets, the survey found the majority of youngsters (22%) preferred ‘pretend’ activities such as dressing up as a princess over time spent on a computer.

While more than a quarter of adults believed their children preferred spending time on a computer screen, only 16% of kids said they enjoyed spending their leisure time in this way, the survey commissioned as part of the Sainsbury’s Active Kids campaign found.

The poll also revealed that almost half (45%) of UK parents and grandparents spent more time playing with their children compared to their own parents or grandparents, but 53% of adults still felt their children spent less time being active compared to their own childhood.

Those born between 1950 and 2000 all selected pretend play as their favourite childhood activity, beating other classics such as hopscotch and hide and seek.

“This research shows that it’s the simple childhood activities than span the generations and old favourites are as popular as ever,” Mark Given, head of brand communications and sponsorship, Sainsbury’s said.

“Regardless of what children are playing, the most important thing is that they’re spending time getting active. Through the Sainsbury’s Active Kids scheme, we are trying to play a part in making sure it’s easier than ever for children to live a healthier, more active lifestyle by playing and moving, helping them to create memories that will stay with them forever.”