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The cost of child's play

18 SEPTEMBER 2012

In this age of high-tech gadgets and gizmos, children's toys have changed dramatically in recent years.

Mums and dads have always felt the pressure to provide for their little ones. And now the cost of parenting is more expensive than ever with the average family paying out more than £10,000 on toys before their child's 18th birthday.

But you don't have to spend a fortune to have fun. From art activities to great days out, there are so many things you can do with your little ones without the cost.

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And research has shown that exploratory play using everyday items, rather than expensive toys, is more beneficial to a child.

Ribena recently conducted a report into children's development which revealed that while 92 per cent of parents believe that imaginary play is important, 16 per cent didn't know how to create it for their child.

And in the survey of 2,004 British parents, half said that they can't afford the play activities they would like for their children, while one in six said they feel pressure from other parents to buy certain toys.

In light of this Ribena have come up with the 'Pocket Playground' - a travel-sized treasure trove of eight low-cost items for your children…

Coloured threads (at least three colors)
Coloured paper
Drawing/colouring pencils
Small wooden shapes and building blocks
Modelling clay
Beads (to be supervised)
Cardboard pieces
Toy people

Whether making a bracelet with the thread and beads, to cats cradle, building a castle with blocks and drawing, there's plenty of creative and fun things to do - and as your child gets older, you can always add inexpensive items to the list, including scraps of fabric, glue sticks, crayons and colouring books.

Play has a vital role in the physical, emotional and social development of all children - so take some time to sit down with your little ones, and get creative!

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