According to a recent survey, the UK has the second highest spend per child on toys. Coming in at a whopping £508 per year, it’s safe to say we’re a nation that values our material goods, but what would you say if we told you that these items actually contribute very little to your child’s wellbeing? Read on to find out more…
Few can deny the initial joy that purchasing the latest gizmo-gadget can bring, both to yourself and the little ones! From the latest lego creation to a fluffy talking animal, the list seems endless these days! Many would say this is a great way to keep the little kids happy, but Oliver James, Britain’s best-selling psychological author, disagrees:
“Do you have any idea what an extraordinary proportion of presents we give children aren’t actually wanted or valued? […] Give a two-year-old a present and she’ll get absorbed in the box instead,” says James. “It’s similar with children and travel. We should let them explore their own ways of finding wonder in their surroundings.”
James argues that material objects do very little to stimulate your children and you’d be better off putting your money towards family holidays, experiences and creating memories together instead. We tend to agree too, as after all, a time spent doing something exciting together is much more valuable and precious than a new shiny iPhone or the latest toy trending in the schoolyard! With this in mind, we thought we’d break down why exactly we think treating your family to a holiday, not things, is far more rewarding long term:
Memories last longer
You might say that things last longer than experiences. And you’re probably right! That toy you bought you’re kid for Christmas will physically last longer than a holiday in Europe that comes and goes. However, the joy of material things fades quickly, but the memories you gave your family, by taking them on a holiday to experience another country, will last longer and will be much dearer to you and your family. Isn’t it also great that you don’t need any additional storage in the house to put all your memories and experiences? It all stays in your heart (and photos).
Escape every day’s routine
Traveling and having experiences gives you a chance to do something different from your daily routine. This will help you and your kids to feel refreshed and rejuvenated when getting back to your daily tasks. It also gives you a lot of stories to share with your colleagues (or classmates) and friends!
Increasingly, modern toys put distance between family members, removing children to their own room or a screen. While shared experiences, like holidays together, connect us more to each other and strengthen the emotional bond. Some researchers even argue that traveling makes children smarter and more aware of the world, and we definitely agree!
So, next time instead looking for things to buy the wee’ bairns, try to look for something you can experience together and make memories that will help set them up for life.
Take a look at our range of family cycling holidays and experience the world on two wheels like never before!