too many toys

[deleted account] ( 22 moms have responded )

This may not be very "controversial" but I want to hear your honest opinions.



My husband and I were discussing how our daughter has too many toys. Her birthday is coming up and I'm dreading having all these new toys in the house.



I considered writing on her party invitations, "While a gift is not a requirement, if you want to bring a gift, please bring something other than a toy." But then I thought that sounded rude. My grandmother suggested that I ask people to bring a toy for charity instead of a toy as a gift for my daughter. So I'm going to write, "Instead of a present for Eliza, please bring a new toy, book, or pajamas to be donated to the children at the woman's shelter."



I'm just a little worried about what people may think. What would be your reaction if you saw that on a party invitation? How would you re-phrase that?



Just a note, I know that our close family members and friends will probably still bring Eliza a gift in addition to a donation. I appreciate what people do for her, and I don't want anyone to assume that I'm not appreciative.

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April - posted on 04/22/2010

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You cannot say "Please bring something other than a toy" because that implies that you would like Eliza to receive money (it would sound rude).



Also, as you have suspected, people will still bring her gifts anyway because they will feel guilty. A birthday party is meant to make a child feel special. Some people might think that she'll feel bad if she has nothing to open on her birthday.



Personally, I think you should just donate the gifts on your own. Go through the gifts after the party and decide which ones Eliza can do without.



It might be considered rude, I'm not sure, but you could encourage people to spend no more than 10 dollars? Doing something like that still implies a monetary gift though.

[deleted account]

Maybe you could ask for people to give gidt cards to the zoo or punch cards from a kids gym nearby or something? So she can have fun all year long and not just on her bday. Passes for a pool? Maybe you could ask for donations to a class you could put her in? ballet or gymnastics? At such a young age I'd wanna give HER gifts not some other kid...it is HER bday after all. If she was older and really wanted to do that for her bday then i'd think differently of it, but its a little girl...i don't have any girls so I know I'd much prefer to spoil my neice then donate gifts or some crap...

Amy - posted on 04/21/2010

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Just as a thought. Have you considered going through her toys now, seeing which ones she has outgrown or isn't interested in and donating those to a church or daycare center and letting her have the new toys. I do this. I go thorugh toys before every christmas and once in the summer and throw away the ones that are broke, and donate ones they have outgrown or no longer have interest in. I call local daycares and church nurseries and ask if they are in need of gently used toys. Most accept them and your child gets new ones to play with at Birthdays and christmas. Just an Idea.

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[deleted account]

I LOVE the idea of setting up a college savings fund and giving the info to family members and such instead of gifts! In this economy, many people understand about wanting to set up education funds and I know my family would be way more willing to put their money to something like that than pretty much anything else! I may just do that this year...

[deleted account]

Right before any of the girls has a birthday we go through all their toys and give away a whole bunch to make room for any new ones they might get. Even though I tell everyone that clothes make better gifts, pretty much everyone insists on bringing toys.

I figure having the girls go through all their toys with me and giving away a good portion of them teaches them the spirit of giving and also teaches them about moderation and sharing. :)

[deleted account]

That's one of the reasons I only invite very few people to the kids bday parties. ;) We don't have an overbuying issue from family though since they only get something from my mom and something from my dad and stepmom,



I totally stink at how to word things, but I like the idea of requesting books/clothes/college money for gifts.

Amber - posted on 04/23/2010

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Thanks for starting this thread! I have the same problem. We weed out our toys twice a year. But we have relatives and friends all over the country and he is always getting gifts in the mail.
I loved Erin's idea on the gift certificates for the zoo or waterparks. Those are great ideas.
We also take all of our child's old toys to his daycare twice a year. He takes them with us and we explain to him that it's so that other kids can play with them too. We also do it with his clothes. He sometimes doesn't get to wear things before he outgrows them.

Rosie - posted on 04/23/2010

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i do the same thing emma. i go through my kids things that they no longer play with or have outgrown and give them to goodwill, or even consignment stores. i think it may throw people off that they won't be giving eliza anything, cause they'll still want to and won't have enough money for another gift donation. let them know that they can do both or just one if they want to, no pressure. :) good luck, and have fun at her party. how old is she gonna be, 2? lucas is gonna be 3 pretty soon too! our babies are growing up too fast. :(

Emma - posted on 04/23/2010

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Just to add we have a R50 gift rule, and this rule has taken off as the amount of kids party's you end up at can break the bank. you would be surprised how eager other family's are to adopt a rule like that.
I phoned the mom's and explained why i thought we should implement it i no longer dread birthday party's lol

Emma - posted on 04/23/2010

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I regularly go through my tow's toys my daughter loves taking her old things to the local aids orphan shelter, where they are really appreciated, by the kids.
I personally would not tell people not to bring her a gift as her birthday is special and should all be about her, as i doubt many would listen anyway

Amy - posted on 04/22/2010

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If I saw that on an invite I would probably ask them if there was anything else they needed (like clothing, money in an education fund, a savings bond, etc).

If you have an education fund set up for her, send them information on how to put money in it to help with college. If you word it in a way that says she has this fund set up and college will be expensive so saving now is best and donation to her education would be more valuable right now for her.

Our son has too many toys, and although some people still buy him stuff, a lot of our family still donate to the education instead. For example, my sister likes to buy gifts for Christmas, but for birthdays put money in the education fund. My In-laws put money in our son's education fund for Christmas.

Also, I agree with Amy's suggestion of going through her toys and giving some away, a lot of places take "gently used" toys.

[deleted account]

Thanks ladies. I know people like to give. And I do appreciate what everyone does for my daughter. I guess it's all about communication then. I appreciate all the honesty!

LaCi - posted on 04/22/2010

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if you are afraid people will be offended by the charity gifts I also don't think anyone will be offended by your first suggestion to bring books or clothes or whatever she would actually need ;) People understand, especially people with kiddos.

Lady - posted on 04/22/2010

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You could get some really colourful storage boxes for her room, or I think it's fine to ask for clothes or book. I just think people will want to give her something she can enjoy. you could even ask your family if they all want to chip in for a piece of play equipment for the garden if you think that's something she might like, or a playhouse. You can tell people about the toy situation and explain what would most benificial, I'm sure they would understand.

[deleted account]

But, as I've already said, I went through her toys two weeks ago and seriously got rid of a lot of it. I left only her favorites. Her tiny closet is full and the basket in our living room is full. I wouldn't know where to put new toys. And the ones she has, she enjoys. So I don't see the point in getting new ones. And I'm not talking 5 presents. Our family is huge so it will be more like 20-30 presents. It's overwhelming.

By the way, we (my husband and I) aren't even getting her a toy. We're getting her potty training stuff, because it's what she needs. I'll admit, the toilet/panties and DVD we are getting has Elmo on it, so she'll love it.

Lady - posted on 04/22/2010

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The problem is people like to give presents to children, especially family.They like to think they can give the child something that they are going to play with and enjoy. It's not always about the getting, sometimes it's about the giving. My family lives quite far away from us and so don't get to see the kids all that often so to them being able to give them a present is quite important, of course your family might be very different but I don't think mine would much like the thought of giving away the gift to charity before the child had even had a chance to play with it or read it. I really think if possible you would be better donating the toys your child has already or putting them away and rotating the amount of toys they have out at one time.

LaCi - posted on 04/22/2010

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I think its nice, and I completely understand. Before birthdays and xmas we end up doing some inventory and donating a bunch of toys that seem to be played with the least to goodwill because our house is small and theres just too much everywhere! I can't handle all these toys! I think people appreciate charitable donations, I don't think they'll think you are unappreciative at all. ;)

Brandy - posted on 04/21/2010

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When we were growing up, every year before Christmas (usually late November or early December), my mom would bring a cardboard box to the living room and ask us all to go to our rooms and find anything we weren't interested in anymore and wanted to donate to children who didn't have toys. She never told us how many to donate except that we had to choose at least one thing. It worked out good because it always got competitive and we would all end up giving quite a bit. That way we could still keep our new, exciting stuff and get rid of things we weren't really using anymore. Your daughter still looks pretty young so you might just have to watch what she is actually using and decide for her what is going for now but it's something to keep in mind for the future.

[deleted account]

Jenny, maybe you could suggest Zoo passes or music classes or something. I'm hoping to talk to my mom about doing that instead of a gift.

I just want a way to suggest on the invitation that we want the pleasure of everyone's company on her birthday without all the "stuff." Bringing a gift for charity instead of my daughter seems like a good alternative, but I just don't want people to take it the wrong way.

Jenny - posted on 04/21/2010

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Sara, I'm in the same boat. Christmas season is a nightmare at my house. 2 kids for Chistmas gifts, Boxing Day is my daughter's birthday then Jan. 18th is my son's. My kids don't play with toys. They do crafts, the read books, they colour, they play outside. My son loves his trucks and occasionally the kitcken but other than that our huge pile of toys stays untouched.

I'm putting a stop to it this year, it is just so wasteful! I'm also trying to think of the best way to put it to the family. Books or clothes would be welcome.

[deleted account]

I went through it all two weeks ago. Got rid of all the broken ones and put the ones too young for her into storage for future children. She has a basket of toys in the living room and her bigger toys (doll house, kitchen, doll stroller, blocks) stay in her bedroom. I want her to learn to appreciate what she already has. Plus, I believe in simple toys and imaginative play.

So, yes, I've already weeded out all toys she doesn't regularly use.

Lyndsay - posted on 04/21/2010

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My little guy has too many toys as well. Both his bedroom and my living room are full of them. When his birthday or Christmas comes around, I go through all of his toys and whatever he doesn't play with enough or isn't interested in anymore I take out. Sometimes I've taken toys that he likes somewhat, especially bigger ones, to make room for all the new presents. Then I donate those, and keep all the new toys for him!

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