You know the Christmas scene. Loving aunts, uncles, in-laws, and grandparents come laden with presents for the children and you think that this is going to be another toy tsunami with the worst toys being washed up all over the house. So how do you avoid the toy situation getting out of control? Here are my top 5 tips.
1. Some of the worst are very stupid and insulting. The Pole Dance kit was withdrawn from Tesco’s supermarket chain in the UK last Christmas after protests. Then we have all sorts of gadgets such as babies that actually pee and some very gender oriented playthings such as the Lego kits for girls which build a beauty salon. It might be no harm to let the relatives know that such toys are not a good idea and that your kids have a wish list. Tell them about it and explain that you are trying to avoid the worst toys at Christmas. This may raise a few eyebrows. But it can avoid many an embarrassing situation when the presents are opened.
2. Maybe you cannot stand noisy toys like me. So that goes on to the list too of the worst toys for kids. Then there are the ones that should be banned which are downright dangerous, scary, sticky or run on batteries. Let’s have a quiet Christmas for a change. Sounds of hollow laughter. The latter tend to be consumed in a ridiculously short space of time and are basically non-environmental friendly.
3. Set the rules for a limit on the number of screen devices so that your kids are not overwhelmed. Try telling all the loving relatives and friends that no cell phones no new WII, computers or play stations are needed. As parents, we can decide what toys are needed and the worst ones which should never enter the house. I wish! We want to reduce time on screen devices and help our kids get out in the open air and do healthy things like sports. At best, they will end up fitter, at worst they will get a few grazes. If they stay inside attached to a screen device, they will risk end up being zombies.
4. Art supplies and craft kits should be high on the Christmas list and drop hints about these when you can. This encourages creativity and finished products can be given to loving grandparents on birthdays and so on. It helps to keep the worst of the toy tsunamis at bay. Which reminds me that all our old and unused toys are given to charity and room is made for new ones.
5. Kids love books and if they have e-readers such as Kindle, then this is a great way to encourage them to read. Telling relatives what types of books (traditional ones or ebooks) are a great way to encourage the best Christmas gift of all which is a book. Also at Christmas, kids like to receive paperbacks rather than a downloaded book. There are some kids’ stories published on Amazon here
What was the worst toy you ever received?