Over a third of Xmas presents aren’t played with

More than a third of Christmas presents given to kids are never played with after December 25 - with most youngsters bored of their toys by 12.23pm on the big day.

Children become bored of their presents surprisingly quickly. Picture: PA
Children become bored of their presents surprisingly quickly. Picture: PA

A survey 1,000 mums and dads of children aged 12 and under revealed a quarter of parents reckon offspring spend more time playing with the box than the toy.

It found 36 per cent of presents for little ones aren’t played with after Christmas Day, according to the parents asked.

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And the most common time for children to get bored of their gifts is 12.23pm - before Christmas lunch has even been served.

The study by children’s apps company Toca Boca also found 45 per cent of parents said their children complained of being bored over the holidays.

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The average child dismisses four gifts within the day, with board games and puzzles the biggest victim of the short attention span, the survey said.

Björn Jeffery, CEO and co-founder of Toca Boca, said: “Play is not only a way for kids to quite simply have fun, but it is also a crucial part of their growth and development.

“Toys and games have changed drastically over the years, yet the simple premise of what makes ‘play’ great remains the same - the ability to create your own story, spark imagination, and, of course, have lots of fun.

“At Toca Boca, we strongly believe in play for the sake of play.

“This is why we are big proponents of any toy or game that sparks kids’ creativity and imaginations. It is also why all of our digital toys are open-ended and inspired by real-world play patterns that kids will enjoy for years.”

The survey by the company - which has sold over 100 million children’s apps worldwide - revealed it isn’t just kids who run out of patience on the big day.

Almost eight out of 10 parents said they hate reading rules and instructions, with 46 per cent saying it takes the gloss off playtime.

More than half (55 per cent) of parents said they favoured play without rules, but 40 per cent said they felt pressure to buy the latest toys and games.

Professor Lydia Plowman from the University of Edinburgh, who has undertaken extensive research into young children, toys and technology, said: “Play has a vital role in the physical, emotional and social development of all children.

“Some toys have pages of instructions to go through before you can even start. Yet, toys without rules provide more scope for free play and allow children to exercise their imagination.

“Apps like Toca Boca have been clever to base their toys on play without rules. This is so important because when it comes to digital games the rules can be overly restrictive.

“Children are good at finding workarounds for real-world board games but there isn’t usually as much scope when a digital game has been programmed to limit the number of choices available.

“Play can then become scripted, and the child is playing by the rules of the game designer rather than their own which can restrict their creativity and curiosity.

“Free play is great for learning to understand the world by trying things out without needing to play by the rules. Anything goes - and that gives children the opportunity to explore and to be creative.

“Unleashing the imagination means that a child can be who they want to be, they can construct their own imaginary worlds, and they can play with one object believing it to be something quite different.

“This has more scope for magic and enchantment than rule-bound games. If you bear all of this in mind when selecting Christmas presents for your child then you can maximize the ‘play-value’ of their toys.”

Toca Boca has just launched a new app based on imaginative construction play, entitled Toca Blocks.

The world-building app, invites kids to construct their own unique worlds by experimenting with the apps’ transformative blocks.

For more information on Toca Boca toys visit www.tocaboca.com.