London, Feb 27 (ANI): One in five young British children have imaginary friends, says a new study.
What's more, nearly half of the kids take part in make-believe games every day, the BBC study, together with parenting skills expert Dr Pat Spungin, found.
To reach the conclusion, the research team examined the lives of children in 1,446 UK homes and looked at how often they engaged in imaginative activity.
One in five children have an imaginary friend with 62 per cent being girls aged between three and five, reports The Telegraph.
When parents were quizzed about the "kind" of imaginary pal their child had, most pointed to them as other little boys or girls, some parents thought their child had fantasy pets or characters from fiction and many attributed their child's alter-ego to an entirely made up creature.
A total of 43 per cent of children play at make-believe every day according to the report and girls were found to be "more imaginative" on a daily basis than boys.
Experience-based activities such as school, house and shop are top of the list of favourite make-believe games with imaginary fictional characters like princesses and superheroes a close second.
Dr Spungin said: "There are lots of psychological reasons why children play make believe. In games like 'house' and 'shop' children are practicing the adult roles they will eventually play and parents are often shocked to hear how closely their children imitate them.
"Wanting to playact princesses and superheroes is more aspirational; it's about having a bit of the power and glamour of the adult world."
The research was commissioned for the DVD launch of BBC children's series Charlie and Lola. (ANI)