As a mum to three-year-old Betsy, Denise Van Outen understands how important toys are to children, not just to enjoy but to help them learn. So she is urging parents to raid the toy boxes at home and give unwanted items to Argos to help make a difference to some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.
Denise has teamed up with Argos and children’s charity Barnardos to launch the annual Argos Toy Exchange. The concept is simple; parents donate unwanted toys to charity, making space at home all the while helping a worthy cause.
According to new research, on average children tend to play with less than half the toys in their collection.
In the study of 1,000 parents of schoolchildren, a third said they stored forgotten toys in the attic or garage, while a quarter left them languishing at the bottom of the toy box or back of a cupboard.
Now mums and dads are urged to drop off unwanted toys at an Argos store in return for a £5 voucher, to be redeemed at Argos by 24 December. Donated toys are them passed on to Barnardos retail outlets where they are resold to raise money for the charity.
Barnardos stores will also be accepting toys on behalf of Argos and distributing the vouchers to those who donate.
The research also shed some light on the toy habits of parents.
More than a fifth said they had held on to much loved toys to pass on to their next generation, and 10 per cent admitted to keeping toys from the childhood because they are a comfort to them, no matter whether their children like them or not.
When it comes to the nation’s very favourite toys, childhood classics Lego, Barbie and Monopoly came out on top in a list of the 10 ten toys from the past 50 years.
In an age when children have on average 69 per cent more toys in their toy boxes than their parents did, it seems retro still rules.
4. Action Man
6. Tiny Tears
7. My Little Ponies
8. Cabbage Patch Kids
10. Sylvanian Families