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The Gift of time - keen kids spend less than two minutes opening Christmas presents.

  • New research shows 58% of children spend less than two minutes between opening presents on Christmas Day
  • Only one quarter of parents feel certain their child truly appreciates each gift they receive
  • The study also found that children’s heartrates during opening presents can soar to 163bpm – a heart rate that matches that of an adult doing a High Intensity Exercise class

Children’s toy retailer, The Entertainer have conducted a national survey to find out how quickly most children tear through the present pile on Christmas Day morning and can reveal that on average, children spend less than two minutes between opening gifts.

The research shows the average child is likely to receive 24 presents in total this Christmas yet over half (58%) will spend less than forty-five minutes opening them all – waiting an average of just 1.88 minutes before they move on to the next gift

This frenzied opening appears to be the case in most households as 1 in 8 parents say their child doesn’t even stop to look and play with the gift they’ve opened before moving on to the next. It’s little wonder that only one quarter (26%) of parents feel certain that their child appreciates every single gift that they receive*1. The Entertainer shared the results of the survey with child psychologist, Ruth Coppard to comment on ensuring kids pause between pawing the presents

Ruth Coppard, Child Psychologist said: “Anticipation often generates more excitement than the experience itself: by giving the child time to explore each item, we allow them time to explore and discover all the nuances of the gift - details that might be missed in the rush to open the next present. Many children aren’t searching for one special present; they just are wanting more (and more).”

On present appreciation, Ruth explained: “It’s hard to be sure that children have appreciated a gift. Some toys are ‘slow burners’ and become more attractive the next day, or when a sibling or friend admires them. By explaining the effort that goes in to buying a gift for a loved one and that not all children are lucky to receive gifts at Christmas, it should help them to appreciate the gifts they have received.”

To encourage present appreciation this Christmas, Ruth Coppard provided the following 5 top tips:

  1. Show children how much fun there is in receiving and giving; encourage children to make gifts for people whom they love and who love them
  2. It’s about quality over quantity; a recent study*4 showed that children get a lot more from fewer presents: more fun, more imaginative play, more cooperation, more concentration
  3. You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money, or the same amount on every child if you have more than one, but you should try to have a similar (not identical!) number for all
  4. Take time to open presents: a great way is to appoint one child as postman, they deliver one present and everyone watches as that present is opened, enjoyed and the giver is thanked and cuddled. Then move on to the next. Inevitably, children may become bored and go back to playing with the toys they have...that’s ok. Mostly it’s a chance for children to see how their presents have been received and to be the focus of attention when they open their own presents
  5. Enjoy the whole day; Christmas isn’t just about presents; it’s about spending quality time with loved ones

To learn more about the effect opening gifts has on children’s excitement levels, The Entertainer conducted a social experiment where children*2 were given ten presents to open whilst wearing a heart rate monitor. Results from the experiment witnessed that heart rates typically increased between 7% to 25% of their resting heart rates.

In one instance, a child’s heart rate rose as high as 163bpm from a resting rate of 98bpm, mimicking the type of results an adult would expect to see when doing a high intensity workout*3 , further emphasising how excited children can get over a short period of time.

For more information on the survey and social experiment conducted, and tips from child psychologist, Ruth Coppard please visit The Entertainer website here:


The Entertainer surveyed a sample of 1,002 people who buy Christmas presents for children aged under 10 years old. Research was carried out online by Censuswide in November 2017.

  1. One question survey carried out by One Pulse in December 2017
  2. The social experiment was conducted with 8 children, aged between 3-8 years old. The experiment was carried out in November 2017. The 10 gifts given ranged in price, size and specification all from The Entertainer.
  3. https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/high-intensity-interval-training.pdf

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For further press information and to book interview time with Gary Grant, please contact the press office on: [email protected]

About the Entertainer

The Entertainer was founded in 1981 in Amersham, Buckinghamshire by husband and wife team, Gary and Catherine Grant, who instilled the driving force and mission; to be the best-loved toyshop – one child, one community at a time. Today, it continues to be a privately-owned company and is renowned for being the largest independent toy retailer in the UK with a total of 145 stores. As well as a strong High Street presence, The Entertainer has a successful website platform (TheToyShop.com) which offers a 30-minute click and collect service and has 22 million visits annually and growing. The Entertainer is also recognised for its charitable giving. Each year it tithes 10% of its net annual profit to charity, in addition employees are encouraged to donate directly through Payroll Giving. The Entertainer is also an active member of the Pennies scheme, the digital upgrade of the traditional charity box, which enables customers to donate a few pence to charity at the point of sale when paying by card. On average, this generates £5,000 of customer donations to Children’s hospitals each week. The Entertainer currently employs over 1200 staff across the stores and a further 160 in the Head Office in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.