The average family spends £10,021 on toys before their child turns 18 years old, a new report has found.
The Ribena Plus Play Report said that parents would be better off spending £6.12 on items like pencils and building blocks to stimulate children’s imagination, rather than more expensive, hi-tech gadgets and toys.
The full list of traditional, low-cost items consists of coloured embroidery threads, coloured paper, drawing pencils, wooden shapes or building blocks, Plasticine, beads, cardboard pieces and toy figures.
In the report, neuropsychologist Sally Goddard Blythe said screen-based activities like TVs and electronic games ‘dominate’, and children are less likely to develop problem-solving skills.
Kids begin playing with ‘expensive’ toys as early as three years old, the study claims, and goes on to suggest that parents are ‘seduced into thinking the more they spend, the better their parenting’.
71 per cent of parents questioned said they thought their low-tech simple childhoods were ‘more fun’. 17 per cent said they felt like a ‘not good enough parent’ if they couldn’t afford to buy their child the latest craze.
Other stats included three out of five boys (59 per cent) aged between three and four ‘build things from household, natural or found items’, whereas only one in ten (nine per cent) of 13 to 15-year-olds does.
Nine out of ten kids watch TV, films or DVDs, while half of parents say there are play activities their kids would like to do but can't because they're too expensive.
2,004 parents were surveyed in the report.
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