Can toys be educational? ‘The same can be said for any household object’

While many toys are now marketed as having specific learning outcomes, child development experts say all play is valuable

Right now, I am in the throes of what I call festive anxiety: that limited-edition, special form of anxiety that hits anyone in charge of gift-giving around the holiday season, magnified by the excess of pointless toys that are marketed to kids this time of year.

Festive anxiety hits me hard: not just because of the work involved, but because a recent survey from eco-retailer Flora and Fauna suggested that despite an average spend of $1bn on new toys at Christmas, Australians still bin 26.8m toys every year.

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