The average parent shells out more than £10,000 on toys and gadgets for their children, a study has found.
Splashing out on gifts for Christmas, birthdays and Easter and rewarding good behaviour up until the age of five sets back mum and dad around £480-a-year.
Rewarding sporting and educational achievements on top of the usual landmarks adds another £98.90 per year until the age of 18 making a total of almost £580 a year.
That means parents will spend a staggering £10,021.72 on games, action figures, dolls, construction sets, garden toys and arts and crafts kits before their child can afford their own toys and gadgets.
Parents with two children will see that cost soar to an eye-popping £20,043.44.
Nikki Sellers, Head of home insurance at esure, which conducted the poll of 3,000 families, said: ”Most children want to keep up with their friends by having all of the latest must-have toys, and gadgets and this carries a hefty price tag.
”For many parents, their children’s rooms become ‘no go’ zones as they grow up but it’s vital for them to take into account the value of these Aladdin’s caves to ensure they’re not left under-insured if the worst happens.
”It’s amazing how kids’ crazes to keep up with the latest fads can rack up the value of a family’s belongings.”
The poll shows the biggest spend occurs at Christmas, with kids receiving £169.40 worth of toys.
Birthdays cost parents an average of £83.21, while Easter sets mum and dad back £27.24 in toys.
During the school holidays kids can look forward to another £42.89 worth of goodies as parents struggle to keep them entertained.
Another £46.24 is spent on toys during the annual family holiday – regardless of whether they are enjoying the sunshine abroad or in the UK.
In addition to the usual ‘events’ which happen every year, generous mums and dads also choose to reward their kids for good behaviour – spending £46.39 over 12 months.
Lucky children can also expect to receive £34.61 of toys which are intended to cheer them up when they are feeling blue, and £29.86 of toys whenever their hard-working parents feel guilty for neglecting them.
Interestingly, 23 per cent of working parents say they regularly treat their children to new toys to compensate for spending little time with them.
And when children start school, parents will also acknowledge and reward their educational achievements by buying toys worth #59.68 a year if they have passed their exams, or done particularly well in a subject.
Sporting success also makes parents proud – and they will fork out £39.22 to celebrate their children’s accomplishments.
A third of mums and dads often buy their children toys so they can fit in with their mates and won’t be left out.
Four in 10 parents say they only spoil their kids because they love them, and 34 per cent claim they’ll do anything to keep them entertained.
But as a result, 45 per cent of British households are now over-run with toys as parents struggle to contain their children’s possessions in one room of the house.
Only a quarter of families have a dedicated playroom and 59 per cent of parents say it is ridiculous how many toys their children have.
Over half of those polled admit they should probably be spending more time with their children than buying them so many toys.
BREAKDOWN OF RESULTS
SPENDS PER YEAR
School holidays 42.89
Annual holiday 46.24
Educational achievements 59.68 (from age 5 and up)
Sporting achievements 39.22 (from age 5 and up)
Reward for good behaviour 46.39
Toys to cheer them up 34.61
Guilty spends 29.86
TOTAL = £578.74 A YEAR
AGE 0 – 4 YRS 4 x 479.84 = £1,919.36
AGE 5 – 18 YRS 14 x 578.74 = £8,102.36
TOTAL OVER 18 YEARS = £10,021.72