Why I (Kindly) Asked People to Stop Giving Our Son Toys

This mom is drowning in toys and has had enough.

When you think of gift ideas for a 1-year-old, your mind likely jumps to toys. Indeed, toys are fun to watch the child open and play with. However, this holiday season, I am kindly asking my family and friends not to gift my 1-year-old son any more toys. This may sound harsh, but hear me out.

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We Already Have Too Many Toys

Even before my son was born, he began to accumulate toys. Now, as a 1-year-old, he has far more toys than he has time to enjoy.

Don’t get me wrong — I love toys. He has some great toys that he does enjoy and that he will be able to use for years to come, such as building blocks, musical instruments and puzzles. But giving him access to all of the toys at once is too overwhelming for him, so I rotate the toys that he has access to daily. We have more than enough.

We Are Out of Room

Our small, two-bedroom condo is lacking in the storage department. With three overflowing toy bins already taking up what little space my son has on his bedroom floor, finding a place to store any more toys is nearly impossible.

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He Won’t Play With It

If you were to give my son a new toy, he would likely play with it for a few seconds. If you are lucky, he might even play with it for a couple of minutes. But that’s it. He will swiftly drop his new toy on the floor — or throw it across the room — and look for something else to do.

He Prefers Activities

My son truly prefers activities (usually completely free ones) other than playing with toys. He would rather go for a walk, go to the park or enjoy a game of peekaboo with mommy or daddy. If he does want play, he would be just as happy playing with a set of coasters or banging on pots and pans.

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What Can Family and Friends Give Instead of Toys?

I truly appreciate the fact that family and friends love my son and want to give him presents. But rather than another stuffed animal that will end up collecting dust, I would prefer family and friends consider gifting him savings bonds or deposits into his savings account. Investing in my son’s future is the best gift that someone can give him. However, for those that just don’t want to gift money, things like books, arts and crafts supplies, clothing and gift certificates for places such as the zoo are wonderful options, as well.

If you’re a parent, you likely can relate to my too-many-toys scenario all too well. So, next time a friend or relative asks what your little one wants for Christmas (or their birthday), share your request for items other than toys. Don’t be afraid to give them some suggestions of what to get instead. Explain how you are working on saving for your little one’s future or how the little guy could really use a new pair of shoes. If they are reaching out and asking, it is because they truly want to gift something that will be useful.

Click through to read about 27 thing to do with those unwanted holiday gifts.

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