Saturday 7 May 2011

Scotch Tape Survey Reveals The True Cost of Children's Birthdays

I thought I'd share this press release with you because it gave me a good giggle - who gives presents like those listed at the end ?! As you can see from the photos, our birthday parties are cheap and cheerful but nevertheless great fun for all involved. Although I do admit to rigging the pass the parcel to make sure everyone gets one of the small prizes in the outer layers !


Despite it being an age of austerity, a survey conducted by 3M, the makers of Scotch Pop-Up Tape, the hassle-free way to gift wrap, has revealed that parents still can’t help splashing the cash on the birthdays of our children and other people’s.

The survey revealed that 34 per cent of parents spend more than £100 on birthday presents for each of their children, while 43 per cent spend between £40 and £99. And it isn’t just the present costs that add up, nearly 40 per cent of parents spend more than £100 on their children’s birthday party, while 37 per cent pay out between £51-£100.

The stakes have also been raised when it comes to party bags with nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of parents spending more than £1 on each party bag. And party bags are a competitive business with almost half (49 per cent) of parents confessing to peeking in the party bags that their children bring home to see how their own bags compare to others.

The heat is equally on when it comes to buying birthday gifts for children’s friends with almost 50 per cent of parents feeling under pressure to buy on-trend or exciting presents. Perhaps that’s why a third of parents will cough up a whooping £9-£10 for a present for someone else’s child and only 22 per cent will go for something more modest, paying under £5.

The urge to impress with other children’s presents extends to the presentation of these gifts, with 83 per cent of parents saying that they always make an effort with gift-wrapping.

But while the nation may be splashing out on the latest toys for their children’s birthdays, three-quarters of parents (73 per cent) still organise traditional games at parties. Top of the list was the classic party game Pass the Parcel. Although 47 per cent of parents admitted to rigging the results to make sure every child got to open the parcel once.

Amy Collins, Scotch Brand Manager, comments; “With the stakes continually being raised, competitive parenting is turning children’s birthdays into a costly and stressful time. From the presents bought to the way they are wrapped, parents are investing heavily in children’s birthdays.”


To take some of the hassle out of birthdays, 3M provides the innovative Scotch Pop-Up Tape Hand-band Dispenser to make gift wrapping easy. The comfortable hand-band dispenses pre-cut tape strips, which leaves both hands free to fold, dispense, stick and wrap. Even the wrapping of a multi-layered gift for the party game Pass the Parcel becomes a breeze.

Birthdays in a nutshell

34 per cent spend more than £100 on birthday presents for each child

38 per cent spend more than £100 on a birthday party

73 per cent spend more than £1 on each party bag

33 per cent spend between £9-£10 on a present for someone else’s child

73 per cent feel they spend the right amount on their child’s birthday presents

64 per cent have played Pass The Parcel at their child’s party

17 per cent rigged Pass The Parcel so their own child didn’t win

The survey revealed some truly outrageous gifts for children. Here are a few…

A shed in the garden with a fully-fitted children’s kitchen installed, wait for it, by a professional kitchen fitter

A solid gold customised iPhone for a 4 year-old

A weekend away in a hotel for 10 friends with pampering session – for a 10 year-old

A half-eaten box of chocolates

A 1000-piece puzzle of HRH The Queen (already opened) for a 5 year old.

*Survey of 740 parents, carried out in conjunction with the Scotch brand.

For more information on Scotch products, as well as quick and easy wrapping ideas and tips, visit

Other blogposts you may be interested in :


  1. Cant believe the truly outrageous gifts!

  2. A shed with a fully fitted kitchen??? :-o Wheres the imagination?

  3. OMG a half eaten box of Chocs??? Who leaves half a box of chocs???? =D


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