Why children are more interested in the wrapping paper than the actual present

As a parent, you probably put a lot of effort into getting gifts for your darling little children.

You spend hours making your way through the high street to find the perfect present and then devote several more hours of your life to wrapping and packaging each item.

With bows and ribbons and glitter, your gifts are bound to look amazing and you’ll be feeling pretty good about yourself come the big day.

Or at least you will, until your children open the presents on Christmas morning – only to be more interested in the paper and boxes than the toy you lovingly picked out for them.

So why is it that children seem to love playing with the packaging so much?

Clinical Psychologist Dr Shona Goodall, who has appeared on Channel 4’s Secret Life of 4 Year Olds, has the answer for you.

According to Dr Goodall, Christmas packaging has "more benefits" for toddlers than you might realise.

She explained: "Children of this age tend to take a great deal of interest in packaging at Christmas because removing it is often the first thing we encourage them to do.

"The sensory sound of the ripping noise is a quick win for them to master – it improves their hand-eye coordination and strengthens their finger pincer grip."

She continued: "Free (but safely supervised) play with packaging therefore offers a blank canvas to explore what they can do with the paper and boxes at their developmental stage and get creative and and learn, without fear of getting it wrong."

As well as this, Dr Goodall adds that packaging can also help children learn about recycling if you show them how to do it.

She added: "By encouraging the behaviour you want to see more of, such as putting something in the bin or recycling, you can lay a fantastic foundation upon which to teach about sustainability."

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