According to a new study, the best time to be a parent is when your child is five years old.

The study quizzed 2,000 parents with children under the age of 13 on how much fun they had – or are having – with their child at different ages.

The results revealed that five-year-olds provide the most enjoyable company for parents, with 39 per cent claiming that this is the most fun age for both boys and girls.

When asked why this age was so enjoyable, around 38 per cent of parents believed it was because their child had ‘started communicating with them properly’. Another 33 per cent felt that at five their child had ‘started to display a good sense of humour,’ and a further 23 percent said it was because they ‘can now properly enjoy playing sports and activities’.

The survey, commissioned by Soreen to mark the launch of Active Families, Happy Families, a new campaign run in partnership with independent charity Youth Sport Trust, also found that parents felt that the pre-teen years (10-12) are the least enjoyable.

Although 86 percent of parents said that physical activities brought their family closer together, it was revealed that parents only manage to spend an average of 3.5 hours a week doing activities with their children.

According to the ‘Class of 2035’ report published recently by the Youth Sport Trust, the number one reason for the popularity of sport and physical activity given by young people is that it’s ‘fun’. Children who describe themselves as ‘always happy’ are twice as likely to take part in two or more hours of physical activity per day.

Phil Chamberlain, Director Policy & Communications for the Youth Sport Trust said: “We know that active children learn better and faster, and have an improved sense of belonging – the link between being active and good physical and emotional health is widely acknowledged.

“There is no question that regular activity produces healthy, happy, academically successful and socially adept young people, with confidence and high self-esteem. As a parent of two young children myself, I take every opportunity I can to be active with my family as I know it will help them create good habits for life.”

Despite the benefits of being physically active, a huge 40 per cent of young people admit that they are not doing as much exercise and sport as they would like.

As part of the Active Families, Happy Families campaign, Soreen have produced a range of activity packs which can be download for free to help children reach the government guideline of at least 60 minutes activity each day.

Beth Brown, Marketing Director at Soreen said:  “We wanted to see at what age we have the most fun with our children as our new campaign is about inspiring families to have fun, whatever their age, through active play.

“The packs will provide families with a wide range of ideas for fun, low or no-cost, physical activities they can do together at home or on days out. Activities will be published continually over the next nine months, coinciding with national celebration days and major sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup”

Families can download their free activity cards here: www.soreensquidgyfun.com.