Saturday 18 November 2017

Cold turkey on Christmas menu this year as I serve up digital ban

Can my children survive a year without using the iPad and will this prohibition bring family harmony, wonders Jemima Lewis

DIGITAL DETOX: Children should play with traditional toys at Christmas time
DIGITAL DETOX: Children should play with traditional toys at Christmas time

Jemima Lewis

This Christmas, those of us with young children can expect to be repeatedly squirted in the face by a malevolent lavatory. Stranger still, this will make us feel quietly relieved.

The Toy Retailers Association has released its annual list of "must-have" Christmas presents, and this year it's all about prising children away from technology. All the biggest sellers are expected to be games or toys that must be played with in real life (or IRL, as the young folks say). Sales of board games are already up by 30pc: these include the aforementioned Toilet Trouble, which squirts water at players if they flush the plastic loo at the wrong time, but also traditional games such as Cluedo.

The toys on the list are either modern variations on old-fashioned themes - toy guns and finger puppets - or just plain old-fashioned. Stretch Armstrong (a muscled doll made of latex rubber, whose limbs can be pulled about most satisfyingly before recoiling back into place) has been around since my own 1970s childhood. And yet here he is again: number 11 on the Dream Toys Dozen list.

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