Presents for young children

Corinne - posted on 06/16/2011 ( 44 moms have responded )

1,288

14

121

When it comes to birthdays, Christmas, Easter etc, do you prefer people to buy all new things for your kids or are you cool with second hand? My kids are 5yrs and (almost) 3yrs old. I have no issues with second/third/fourth hand stuff as long as it's clean and in good working order. Issues with family members prompts post :) Ta muchly in advance.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

I dunno.....to me, giving a second hand item wrapped as a gift is kind of tacky. I have NO PROBLEM with second, third, whatever-generation hand stuff, but not as a gift.

I dunno....I think this thread is making me rethink my gut response, but for right now, I'm in the "tacky" club.

[deleted account]

Honestly, I prefer second-hand--I'm all about reusing and reducing what we (as a community) the toss into landfills, so why buy a new toy--which also comes with a TON of packaging to fill the landfills--when you can save a gently used one from taking up space there? It's win/win :)



That said, I expect the gift to be well thought out, clean, working, have all the parts, and be nicely wrapped up.

[deleted account]

Am I the only one who doesn't buy my kid stuff all year? Reading this, I'm beginning to feel a bit stingy. J gets toys on holidays and his birthday. I don't buy him anything during the rest of the year. He might earn a reward, and occasionally that is a toy, but more often than not, he picks dinner at his favorite restaurant, a special snack, or an extra trip to the park, pool, library, or museum for rewards (WAY easier!!)



Granted, we live in a TINY house, so we just don't have much room for stuff. The things he gets at holiday & birthday fill up our space to the point that I HAVE to get rid of almost everything he has before Fall, so I'm not going to go buy him toys in March, just to toss them out in August. Even if we did have more space, he barely plays with most of the toys he has.

Sherri - posted on 06/16/2011

9,593

15

391

New things only for Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, etc. Hand me downs are great any other time of the year but to me not as gifts.

Katherine - posted on 06/16/2011

65,420

232

5195

There is a store called Once Upon a Child by me and I freaking LOVE it. It's all second hand and they are very picky in what they take. They also go by all regulation recalls, so I would totally buy from there. A lot of the times the things haven't even been used. I bought a dress with the tags still on it for $3.25.

44 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

I've found that requesting clothes or other "needs" from people on birthdays is like asking them to slam their face into a brick wall--they don't want to do it. I understand--a big part of the joy of giving is seeing how happy the gift makes the recipient, and when's the last time anyone saw a kid go ballistic over a pair of socks and a new shirt?
I know the toys are coming at holidays and birthdays, so I use the rest of the year to buy the "needs" like art supplies, clothes, etc. (and books, you can never have too many books!)

So that is why I prefer second-hand toys for gifts--we don't have the occasion to buy them ourselves. We do not have a good place to buy second-hand clothing here. When J was younger, we had several places, but not that he is older, and older kids grow slower, most second-hand clothing in his sizes are already worn through.

[deleted account]

I do buy toys, books, trinketies frequently, spontanteously, or whenever the situation presents itself. It's usually for a reward or something along the lines of that. Or my son wants to use some of his chore money. Oh the dinosaurs! Right now my son is so big into dinos right now (Thanks Dino Dan!). We have so many NICE dino books that were passed along to us from a friend that I had to clear out his bookshelf. So we need to go shopping for a new, smaller dino book shelf and I plan to go to look for one second-hand. I also found someone on Craigslist selling a hige lot of dino toys, so yeah, for $10 he has a whole new tub of dino toys-nice ones too! But then I start moving out the toys he no longer plays with.

Charlie - posted on 06/18/2011

11,203

111

409

I do buy toys during the year but it's only because I do a lot of play based learning with them ....A couple of weeks ago Cooper was really interested in dinosaurs so one day I set up a table with rocks and trees and (pretend) pond and purchased some dinosaurs to place around the scene or he saves coins and buys his own toys if he wants a little car or something, most of the time I am buying art supplies though and on birthdays or xmas they either get one big combined present or two smaller ones and money goes in their accounts .

Elizabeth - posted on 06/18/2011

3,550

4

43

Kelly, I'm another one who doesn't buy toys except for the holidays. It got to the point where I had to refuse to allow toys to come home that grandparents bought. I said there was only space in my daughters room for her or more toys. Books are an exception. You can never have too many books.

Used items are fine to gift to my children. My daughter usually gets a couple of used gifts for her birthday and Christmas. If she doesn't care, why should I.

I have given used gifts before, but only after asking if it was okay. The used cookbook I got for my 9 year old nephew was his favorite gift that birthday. (Mine too. It was a cookie cookbook and he shared his creations)

Elizabeth - posted on 06/18/2011

3,550

4

43

Kelly, I'm another one who doesn't buy toys except for the holidays. It got to the point where I had to refuse to allow toys to come home that grandparents bought. I said there was only space in my daughters room for her or more toys. Books are an exception. You can never have too many books.

Used items are fine to gift to my children. My daughter usually gets a couple of used gifts for her birthday and Christmas. If she doesn't care, why should I.

I have given used gifts before, but only after asking if it was okay. The used cookbook I got for my 9 year old nephew was his favorite gift that birthday. (Mine too. It was a cookie cookbook and he shared his creations)

Stifler's - posted on 06/17/2011

15,141

154

604

My mum won't stop buying Logan size 2 clothes. It's really annoying because he has way too many clothes he'll never wear them all.

Caitlin - posted on 06/17/2011

1,915

5

172

I buy Kayla toys on a very random basis - mostly as needed, but I try to keep it for holildays only. I prefer to get new toys, mostly because most of the ones i see at consignment stores are in realy shoddy condition. I always donate our used toys that we don't use (and some new that I have no intention of allowing the kids to play with, like some stupid toy with tons of little parts for my 2 1/2 year old when we have a 16 month old and a new baby on the way... I also prefer new because I fear peanut butter residue in the more complicated toys, and most foods Kayla happens to be allergic to.

When I give gifts, I usually buy new. I will buy a sleeper or something as the "gift" but accompany it with a bag of hand me downs, which are just as good.

The only person I have issues with is my MIL who has never bought either of the girls anything. She picks up used clothes (most of which end up at the consigment store because they are horrible) from her relative and brings them over to our house. She doens't pay for them, she brags about how it cost her 20$ to bring the bag on the plane (once when she was travelling by plane) and it drives me nuts. It's not like she has no money, she spends all her cash at the casino.. And she's a bitch. But that's besides the point, if I got some nice second hand stuff from someone I knew couldn't afford to buy something new, then i'd ber perfectly happy, but I tend to fall into the category of preferring 1 new outfit to a whole bag of hand me downs (cause I have SOOO much right now anyways).

Momof1 - posted on 06/17/2011

528

0

17

@ Kelly. I wouldn't say my husband or I necessarily buy our son toys throughout the year. The bad part is his birthday is November, right before Christmas, so everything comes at once. We don't have that much extra money, but my husband will buy our son matchbox cars and we just went to Hershey's Chocolate World and I bought him a car. I recently bought him a car play mat that I really want to give him, however I think I will save that for his birthday or Christmas. I will buy him bubbles or a few summer items if necessary. Mostly he plays with the same certain toys day in/day out and those are the toys he got second hand from my sister. Mostly we are outside all day, so no toys are needed.

Momof1 - posted on 06/17/2011

528

0

17

When I buy my son presents, I will only buy him new things (for holidays.) From anybody else, I wouldn't care. I don't even expect anything. As long as the toys are in working condition, what's the problem. And clothing is so expensive as well. That would be fine too. I, however, would feel weird giving a second hand toy out. I have given my friend a couple things I picked up at yard sales for her twin girls, along with a couple new things.

Jenni - posted on 06/17/2011

5,928

34

393

No Kelly, it's not just you. We're the same. They get so many toys for holidays they just aren't in need. I don't think kids need a lot of toys. At least my kids get far more enjoyment out of activities then sitting around playing with toys. I know when I was a kid, I had my few favourites that I played with but the rest just collected dust.

I may still buy the odd colouring book and my husband picks him up a CARS hotwheel every now and then to add to his collection, sometimes stickers, or dollar store toys for the backyard in the summer (we got them bug collectors recently) but that's about it.

I HATE waste. ;)

Corinne - posted on 06/17/2011

1,288

14

121

#1 has just had her birthday and #2s is just around the corner. Bagging up all the un-played with stuff to give to the school playgroup andsending the rest to charity shops. Found a ton of the shoddy stuff I refered to earlier, all broken or incomplete (jigsaws?) and McDonalds toys. I swear if anyone puts another McDonalds toy in a gift bag I'm going to wrap it around their head. :)

Melissa - posted on 06/17/2011

441

41

31

I've never had any problems with second-hand items. If things are clean and work the way they're supposed to, then what's the difference? The original packaging isn't going to make it any better a gift! Personally, however, I always enjoyed the idea of giving more than getting. My son gets toys all year round; his uncles and aunts, his grandparents and great grandparents, and of course his father and I get him things every now and then "just because". Things add up! He's only 18 months right now, so obviously we're not utilizing it as of yet, but when he's older I plan on utilizing his birthday to clear out old toys (with no sentimental value) to give to children in need. I want to instill the idea in him that giving is better than getting; that making others happy and helping others is a possitive and fullfilling thing to do. I figure family and close friends, and of course his father and I lol, will still get him birthday/christmas/easter presents and such, so after each holiday, however many gifts he got, that's roughly how many toys we'll give away. We haven't tried it out yet, like I said, so right now it's just an idea, but I'm excited to see how it goes :0)

Stifler's - posted on 06/17/2011

15,141

154

604

I get hand me downs all the time. I don't feel it's a "present" just people getting rid of stuff their kid is too old/big for. I don't care if people don't get my kid presents lol but they always do. My friend always raids St.Vinnies though and brings over things she finds for $1 for the kids and doesn't ask for money for it. I have given people Logan's old suits with their baby present with other things I've bought for their kid aswell but just as an extra. I like buying people new stuff it keeps the circle of hand me downs going but adds extra if you throw in something brand new. I get my kid random things all the time like packets of pegs and new bath toys and stuff to keep him amused. By the time holidays and birthdays come around he's too old for it, if he needs it I buy it now.

[deleted account]

My kids do occasionally get a random something (bubbles for my son, more art supplies for the girls, etc...), but for the most part I only buy NEEDS except for bday and Christmas.

Sherri - posted on 06/16/2011

9,593

15

391

No my kids do not get things unless really needed except on birthdays and holidays. They have their own money if they want something that bad they can save up for it and get it themselves or wait for Christmas. We also don't buy birthday gifts for our kids, their party is their gift. They get presents from the people that attend.

Krista - posted on 06/16/2011

12,562

16

847

Am I the only one who doesn't buy my kid stuff all year? Reading this, I'm beginning to feel a bit stingy. J gets toys on holidays and his birthday. I don't buy him anything during the rest of the year.

I might get the odd, small thing for my toddler. For example, he doesn't have a beach ball. And his birthday isn't until August. So we got him one now so that he could play with it at the beach this summer. But getting him stuff just to get him stuff? No, we don't do that.

Books are another matter, though. I buy him books year-round, especially if I see them on sale, or if they're good second-hand ones. My husband is on bed-time story duty, and he definitely appreciates having a wide variety from which to choose.

April - posted on 06/16/2011

3,420

16

263

Sara, I'd love to suggest to people to donate to charity!!! I'd love to have a birthday party where I'd buy certain things for the party and a portion of the sale would go towards the same charity I'd suggest to the guests! Ah one can dream!

PS my son was born 3 days before christmas. it's the perfect time to give to charity and having a birthday so near christmas means double the annoying gifts!

[deleted account]

I don't care. I'd actually rather people not get my kids anything, but that's not going to happen. I hate the thought of people using their hard earned dollars to buy something for my kid that she may not use and clutter up the house. I try to 'guide' my close family and friends in gift shopping for my little ones so their money is not wasted, but they rarely listen. It drives me insane to get yet another baby doll that comes with 10 small accessories. I JUST sent a bunch of presents still in its packaging from my daughter's last birthday to a friend's garage sale fundraiser.



Once though, there was this awesome baby kitchen I wanted to get for my daughter's first birthday. While shopping at a consignment store I found the same exact one in perfect condition for less than half the price. My mom was with me and asked if she could pay for it and give it to my daughter. Ummm...YES. She played with it for a year before she 'graduated' to the larger $4 kitchen we found at a garage sale. It's now put away until little sister starts crawling.

[deleted account]

Every birthday and holiday I ask people to get my kids clothes or gift cards. Does anyone listen? NO! Ugh, it's annoying because my kids have so much STUFF! Last week I went through all the kids' toys and culed out about 3/4 of them (about 1/4 of those had to go in the trash and the remaining 3/4 went to our local women's shelter). But there are STILL a lot of toys that the kids wouldn't give up even though they don't play with them. It's frustrating...

Saying all that, we do get our kids toys for holidays and such, but I try to get them stuff like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, watercolors, etc. Stuff that they actually USE and when they're done using it it's gone (not thrown away).

I don't mind 2nd or 3rd hand stuff as long as it's nice and clean. One time my aunt got my daughter some broken toy form the 80's that she got from the Goodwill (it still had the Goodwill sticker on it). Of course I appreciated that she though of my daughter, and my daughter did play with the toy (AFTER I washed it thoroughly and put in new batteries as well as had my hubby replace some of the internal wiring to make it work), but I was still a bit miffed.

Amy - posted on 06/16/2011

4,793

17

376

I'm with kelly. WE don't buy stuff all year. only birthdays and holidays and it's mostly clothes/books/necessities. Son got sheets because he went into a big boy bed when he turned 2. Daughter got clothes and cute hair ties since her hair was growing. No toys. Really, they have legos, blocks, a pretend kitchen, pretend tool/workbench and some plastic animals and an outdoor swingset. What else does a kid need?

I don't care if it's secondhand as long as it's clean.

Lady Heather - posted on 06/16/2011

2,448

17

91

Kelly - not just you. I HATE having tons of toys around and it seems like everyone else buys them for her so we have no need. The only time she gets new things from me is if we are going on a holiday and I want something to keep her busy in the car/plane. Usually the ends up being a new colouring book and 5 used books from Value Village (because you buy 4 and get 1 free...hehe). Other than that, our gifts come at Christmas and birthday only.

Man, when the second one arrives, I don't even know what to do. I guess I'll just start getting rid of stuff.

Corinne - posted on 06/16/2011

1,288

14

121

I was just pondering the same thing Kelly. I'm wondering, what is it that makes the difference (to us), between new and recycled, re-gifted stuff? I do get that sometimes people will pick up some shoddy stuff, hence me posting this (we've had some awful stuff) , but if it's in good nick?

Lady Heather - posted on 06/16/2011

2,448

17

91

I don't mind at all. My mum doesn't have much money but she still wants to get Freja cool stuff so she goes to this nice consignment store. She got her a rocking horse and a nearly-new Fisher Price shopping cart. These toys have ended up being favourites. She also buys us second hand stuff all the time, particularly books. She always finds the perfect used book.

[deleted account]

I have no problem with second hand clothes or toy/books etc.Some of my kids favourite toys/clothes were second hand.Its all good to me.

I would personally buy new as a gift.Other than that i do not mind.

September - posted on 06/16/2011

5,233

15

695

I love hand me down's as long as they are clean and in good condition. As far as gifts go though I prefer new and buy new for friends and family as well. Now if the hand me down's still had tags on them and have never been wore I would consider that re-gifting and not a hand me down.

Jenny - posted on 06/16/2011

4,426

16

129

I prefer second hand or homemade items as gifts. I have gotten rid of so much junk lately and it really breaks my heart how all of this stuff has affected our planet through it's creation and life cycle. Some of these things will never decompose, ever. And my kids rarely even play with toys in the first place. They would much rather read, do crafts, play outside. I'm instituting a toy ban, I've had enough contributing to the decimation of our planet and feeling guilty throwing out (donating, not garbage) bags and bags of stuff. My daughter's birthday is the day after Christmas and my son's is 3 weeks after that. The amount of packaging and junk that goes through my house during that month is insane, I'm done with it all.

[deleted account]

Oh... my girls favorite birthday present from me when they were little was a My Little Pony ($5) and a bag of Barbie clothes each... from the thrift store. $2.50 for a bag of about 10 random outfits as opposed to $5 or more for a SINGLE outfit.... yeah, easy choice. ;)

[deleted account]

As long as it's in good shape and my kids like it.... go for it.

My best friend is broker than broke, but she LOVES my kids. She's a thrift store junkie and has gotten them all some clothes (plus my son used to get all her oldest boy's hand-me-down's), books, toys, etc.... The amount of money people put into gifts honestly means nothing to me. It's the thought and care that matters.

I'd rather second hand stuff than anyone ever buying my girls beads again. I had JUST gotten rid of all the beads in my house when my dad got them 1000 beads.... while I had a toddler. Think man! Yeah, I let my kids mess w/ them for a while then they all headed to the dumpster.

Vicki - posted on 06/16/2011

1,150

0

166

I love second hand. My boy wears loads of secondhand clothes. He has several hand me down scooter/bike thingies. I don't really appreciate my FIL's efforts though. He goes to swapmeets and buys all sorts of crappy toys. Always plastic, often broken, usually dirty. I'd rather he just bought one good thing (new or secondhand I don't care!) rather than a mountain of rubbish!

Amber - posted on 06/16/2011

1,909

13

145

I usually ask for books, workbooks, clothes, or contributions toward lessons or day outings for my son's birthday. So, not much comes in second hand.

I wouldn't mind if things were nice second hand gifts, but I personally don't shop second hand for holidays or birthdays.
We always donate our toys and clothes when he outgrows them. They go to the daycare or women's shelter so that lots of children can use them.

[deleted account]

"There is a store called Once Upon a Child"

Oh I sell a lot of stuff to Once Upon a Child! I am actually a huge Craigslister, but when things don't sell or have been around for awhile, I head on down to OUAC. I get cash, not store credit.

Tania - posted on 06/16/2011

280

28

12

I love second hand too. I do buy new as well but I love going into the cute second hand clothing store in my little town and finding amazing clothes for less than half the price. I also have no problem with gifts that are second hand...as long as they clean and not broken.

Jenni - posted on 06/16/2011

5,928

34

393

I LOVE recycling through kijiji (it's like craig's list in the US). I actually have a woman coming today to buy my daughter's infant swing off of me. I use the money for selling my children's old toys, clothes etc to buy them new things off the the site that they're in need of. It's great! I rarely ever have to buy things for them out of pocket. Which is good for us since we're struggling to allow me to be a SAHM.

Krista - posted on 06/16/2011

12,562

16

847

That's the thing when it comes to kids' stuff. A lot of times you can get things that still have the tags, or original packaging! Kids grow so fast, and it's not unusual for them to get duplicates of popular toys, so oftentimes, those things wind up going up for sale.

Jenni - posted on 06/16/2011

5,928

34

393

I love second hand and I love Kijiji.ca! I actually encourage my family to shop through there. Most of the time you buy kids a toy and the novality wears off in a week or a month. :/

My inlaws buy them things from that site occassionally on bdays and christmas and then put the rest of the money they were going to spend away in my children's savings accounts. :)

[deleted account]

For special occasions like birthday Christmas/Chaunkkah, I do buy brand new items. I'm cool with second-hand items if it was a reward for something. My son is working towards a Nintendo DS, and I have have full intentions to get one second-hand if/when he finally earns it. I've also been looking on Craigslist for a new bike for him, obviously something second-hand. I would be upset if he was given a present that downright looked junky, parts/pieces missing, something unplayable, etc. But it also depends on the quality of the item and functioning. Let's say that for Christmas we did find an awesome 2nd-hand bike. It doesn;t take much to clean it up, get it over to the bike shop for a repair or 2, slap a bow on it! It just depends on what the item is. But to answer your question regarding gifts, yes, I do prefer new.

Krista - posted on 06/16/2011

12,562

16

847

I don't mind second-hand as long as it's clean and in good shape, and if the person genuinely thought it'd be something that my kid would use and enjoy. If someone wanted to buy me a second-hand Ergo, for example, that was in great shape, I'd be delighted.

But if it was some hunk of crap from a yard-sale with missing pieces that the person bought just to have something to give to my kid, then yeah, I'd be a bit irked. At that point, a thoughtful card would have been better.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms