My children began their Christmas lists in October. Curious to see what made the list this year, I read over my daughter’s shoulder and was shocked to see that she had asked for a doll that spits up and wets itself, an expensive Lego set, and a live donkey. You won’t be surprised to know that these items were not on my shopping list. The experience made me wonder, though, what gifts do other parents dread buying or receiving for their children? I asked other parents in my home state of Kansas for their input.
A Million Pieces
Everyone is likely to get frustrated with a toy that comes with “a million” pieces. In no time, the pieces tend to get spread across the entire house and it is nearly impossible to get them back together. “Once the pieces are lost the whole toy is pointless because you can’t do anything with it if certain pieces are missing,” says Kassie Rew, mom of three in Olathe, KS. Prior to giving, consider the ages of the children in the home. A nine year old may ask for Polly Pocket dolls or Legos but they can easily turn into a choking hazard for a baby brother and become a huge source of anxiety for the parents.
Some Assembly Required
Every parent cringes when their child opens a fun and exciting toy and the box has the words “some assembly required” which usually means the parent spends hours reading frustrating directions and assembling the toy late into the night. If you are giving a toy that requires assembly, please consider putting it together prior to giving.
A Not-So-Joyful Noise
Loud toys have been irritating parents since toys were invented. Musical instruments, toys with hammers, and battery operated toys with no volume control all contribute to the already high level of noise pollution in the average household. When purchasing a loud toy for a favorite niece or nephew, please stop and imagine it being passed back to your own house when you have children. If that makes you shudder, keep shopping.
Batteries Not Included
While we’re on the topic of battery-powered toys, please consider a few things as you purchase a gift. Does the toy require batteries? If yes, are the batteries regularly available at a reasonable price? “We don’t care for toys that require massive amounts of expensive batteries. Sometimes the batteries cost more than the toy itself,” says Jessi Cole, a mom of three from Overland Park. Check if the toy comes with the batteries. If it doesn’t, then please make sure to supply batteries when the child opens the gift, so they can enjoy the gift you’ve given.