No matter how much a child begs for the latest must-have toy for Christmas, the harsh reality is that they’re very likely to be bored of it even before the festive season ends.
Around one in five kids will get bored of the latest must-have toy after less than a day, and the average child loses interest in a new toy in just 36 days, according to research.
But don’t despair. Instead of buying the often-expensive toys on your child’s Christmas list, why not just rent them? Then, when they’re bored of a particular toy, you can just send it back and get a different one delivered to replace it.
“Believe it or not, you don’t have to spend a fortune buying lots of toys for your children over Christmas – rent them instead,” suggests Jessica Green, co-founder of the Toy Box Club.
“You’ll feel much better about your impact on the environment, and I promise you, the children will love it too.”
And Kerry Abass, Whirli’s head of customer experience, adds: “Research shows an average of £135 is spent per child on Christmas toys, yet a third of these toys are neglected after just two months.
“Parents can swap toys as often as they choose with Whirli, meaning their gift keeps on giving. It significantly reduces waste, is far better value for money and is kinder on our planet.”
Unsure of whether to buy toys or rent them? Here are some of the advantages of renting…
1. It’s much cheaper
Parents can sign up to various toy subscription schemes – just search the internet. On Whirli, for example, plans range from £7.99 a month for a Toy Sack, to £29.99 a month for a Toy Chest, and pay monthly subscriptions can be changed or cancelled at any time. The toys are for children aged from newborn to eight years, and the last order date to get Whirli toys for Christmas is December 20.
For £35 a month, Toy Box Club delivers a box of at least six age-appropriate toys, including items like cash registers, dress-up costumes, and little doctor’s sets, as well as a puzzle and two books, for children aged from newborn to five years. The used toy box is collected every month as well. Parents need to sign up for a minimum of two months, after which they can pause or cancel their subscription. The last order date to get a Toy Box Club delivery for Christmas is December 18.
2. There’s much less clutter
Most homes where young children live are packed to the rafters with toys, many of them unused. If you rent toys and send back the ones your child no longer likes, clutter is significantly reduced.
3. It’s good for the environment
Many toys eventually end up in landfill, which isn’t good for the environment. But if toys are played with and then sent for another child to enjoy instead of being thrown away, it’s a much greener way to play. Whirli estimates 23% of Christmas toys are neglected within one month. “That’s 32 million toys in the UK fated for landfills instead of love from another child,” it points out.
4. You get more toys than you pay for
Whirli says that for every £10 spent with it, the average child customer plays with £40-worth of toys.
5. No need to worry about germs
Toy subscription companies clean used toys thoroughly when they’re sent back, and Whirli says tests show 99% of all germs are killed by its cleaning techniques, “which makes our toys cleaner than those you own already”.
6. More opportunity to spark new interests in children
Because renting means you get more toys than you could ever buy, children have much more opportunity to find new interests through toys their parents might not have wanted to fork out for.
7. Unlimited play time
With toys from subscription schemes, children can play with the toys for as long as they want, with no time limits and no penalties.
8. It can teach children to share
Toy Box Club toys and books are sent back for other kids to play with, and replaced with a new set. The Club says this helps to teach young children how to share, and stresses that its little members are quick to understand that at the end of each month, all the toys are sent to another child to play with.
9. Don’t worry about broken toys too much
Accidents happen, and if a toy is broken by a child, Whirli do charge a fee, but stress that parents will never have to pay more than the RRP of the toy. Toy Box Club says if a toy is broken or lost, parents will be asked to pay a fair replacement value.
10. You can buy much-loved toys if you want to
If a child falls in love with a particular toy, parents can buy it from Whirli for a less-than-retail price, and Toy Box Club is also happy for parents to buy a toy if their child wants to keep it.