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Does your child own too many toys?

£210 MILLION WASTED ON UNWANTED KIDS’ BIRTHDAY GIFTS EACH YEAR

The average UK child has ten times as many toys as they need

Kids only play with 10% of their toys

A third of parents think kids today are spoilt and have too many toys

With Kyd's birthday coming up this weekend the above statistics didn't really surprise me. We have already shelled out on gifts for him that most kids would dream of. We, however, only buy him things that he will need and we always ask that people give him money towards something specific rather than pointless toys that will be thrown away. He's 12 now, he wants expensive trainers and computer games and I am not about to go and buy him them every few months. We are teaching independence by making him save for what he wants and he already loves the feeling of buying something for himself.

Not all parents are like us though, some shower their kids with gifts... and that isn't a bad thing, it's up to them but as they get older it becomes more an more expensive. Although he still has a room full of random toys he hardly plays with which somehow grows without very much effort throughout the year. So when I read this it really did ring a bell....

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A STAGGERING £210 million pounds is being wasted every year on unwanted birthday gifts for British kids, whose toy boxes are already bursting with toys they don’t play with.        

Spoilt British children have ten times as many toys as they need, with the average UK child owning 51 toys, but actually only playing with five of them on a regular basis.

But despite this, kids are being inundated with new toys as birthday gifts from friends and family each year.

More than a third of all parents surveyed by One4all, the leading multi-retailer gift card from the Post Office, believe their child is spoilt and has too many toys.

Over half also believe that their child would rather choose their own gift to avoid wastage, while one in five would prefer friends and family to club together and buy a bigger, longer lasting gift like a gadget.

However, 62% of parents surveyed admitted they are most likely to buy a toy as a birthday gift for a child, with gadgets such as hand-held consoles and food-based gifts such as sweets and chocolate being among the least likely to be purchased.

Duplicate gifting is also a big problem; with 15% of parents admitting their child always gets multiples of the same gifts, and the average UK child receiving at least three unwanted gifts per year.

And when it comes to clearing out these unwanted items, two thirds of parents admit to cheekily re-gifting them to friends and relatives’ children, or even profiting from them by selling them on the internet through sites like eBay. Meanwhile, a philanthropic third will donate unwanted presents to charity shops.

Declan Byrne, UK managing director of One4all, says, “Our research indicates an alarming amount of money is being wasted on gifts that children don’t even want, and largely on toys. In our throw away society it’s important that children are taught the value of things from an early age.

“There are lots of alternative birthday gifting options for children, which would help prevent millions of pounds being poured down the drain needlessly. Our own One4all Gift Card is one options, as it allows the child to choose the gift that they want from 17,000 stores. Making it educational, as well as giving them lots of choice in where to get their chosen present from.”

I suggest that parents think of slashing the toy buying and taking the money option. It might be boring but it's not just teaching them independence but they actually can get what they really want, rather than just a room rammed full of things they don't use.

Kids, Parenting, ArticlesAlice Hassall