When A-list celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis revealed that they weren’t giving their children one present for Christmas, it made global headlines. Their rationale being that they didn’t want their kids to grow up to be ungrateful.
Perhaps they are on to something though. With the *average child receiving over £200 worth of kids presents at Christmas alone, is it time we think of a more ecological and productive way to prevent toy overload?
Bu, if cutting back on presents isn't an option, here's some other useful tactics:
The 'one for one' rule
If your child is lucky to have more cool toys than they could need, the one-in-one-out method, encourages little ones to give some thought to the value of them. Ask your child to offer up a toy to donate to charity, from baby dolls to tea sets and toy cars – it’s a good way of decluttering to make room for a new toy. It’s easier said than done, but is a rewarding way to feel less guilty about the consumer culture we live in.
Open an ISA
Be honest, how many toys does your child receive for birthdays or Christmas, that they would never play with. A better way for relatives to part with their hard-earnt cash is to invest in your child’s future. A Junior ISA is a great way to save for those under 18 years to save up to £4,128 a year (latest figures). This remains tax-free until thy turn 18, when it transforms into an adult ISA. The MoneySavingExpert has some great advice here if you want to read more.
Set a rule, that if your child hasn’t played with a toy in say 6-12 months, that it goes to a better home. There’s no value in a house of clutter, and it may help teach your child the value of giving to those less privileged, by donating it to a charity shop – perhaps of their choice.
Reserve for later
A popular technique used by parents is to hold back some toys to prevent overload. At times like Christmas and birthdays, if your child receives a ton of presents, try and hold a few back to reintroduce later in the year. This keeps toys fresh and may stop them from toy overload!
Going out toys
If you have a ‘going out’ bag that you take to restaurants, or playdates with you, perhaps this is a good place to store a few toys to prevent toy fatigue.