Can you see why parents are complaining about this children's play area?

Pictures of a children's play area inside a Sydney shopping centre have caused a stir on social media, with parents saying there is something important missing.

Chatswood Chase recently posted images to its Facebook page of its new kids' "play pod", promoting recent "improvements" that had been made to the area.

But for one group of concerned mothers, there is a glaring absence - with the exception of iPad screens, there is a lack of equipment to actually "play" with.

A children's
A children's

A few bits of play equipment lie around - a wooden train, a square interactive box with buttons and lights - but the space is dominated by a huge screen and mounted iPads in what looks more like a kids' mini-tech store than a traditional play area.

When Chatswood Chase posted to its official Facebook page about new safety fencing around its "play pod", parents were more interested in the lack of interesting play materials for their kids.

"Would be even better if you ditched the iPads and just put more play equipment in there!", one person wrote.

"No iPads. More soft play - at least," wrote another. "Small, soft climbing equipment would be better."

Children stare at a massive screen inside the shopping centre 'play pod'. Source: Facebook
Children stare at a massive screen inside the shopping centre 'play pod'. Source: Facebook

Several women posted to a Facebook group, showing pictures of children gravitating towards digital screens at the expense of physically active play.

"I hate that it's full of screens," one mum wrote.

"Times we live in," another mum said. "I'm from the States, it's close to impossible to find a restaurant that does not have at least one (usually several) TV's in it.

"It's so sad to see families and even couples on dates sitting there staring at screens."

The play area is dominated by iPads. Source: Facebook
The play area is dominated by iPads. Source: Facebook

It seems the days of soft toys, climbing equipment and challenging puzzles inside children's play areas are going the way of the dinosaur, with several mothers complaining that their children went straight for the screen.

"For me, the whole point of taking my daughter to a play area is so that she can enjoy some physical play on equipment we don't have at home," one observer wrote.

"Not just prodding at a screen."

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