Imaginary friends are becoming less common as children spend more time looking at screens, according to nursery staff.
Almost two thirds who were surveyed felt tablets and television are making children less imaginative.
That is because they often have little time to be bored or left to their own devices, industry leaders suggested.
Nearly half (48%) said children at their nursery have imaginary friends.
But 72% agreed that fewer children have pretend pals than five years ago.
And 63% of those questioned said they think screens are making children less imaginative.
Daynurseries.co.uk polled 1,000 nursery workers.
Psychology lecturer Dr Paige Davis, of York St John University, said modern technology has changed the way children play in general.
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