Stop Giving Toddlers These Toys (PLEASE!)

by A. Rochaun
Originally Published: 
Altmodern via GettyImages

I think all parents should see this Bounty commercial. It perfectly illustrates why parents everywhere are pleading for folks to stop giving our kids teeny tiny, multi-piece toys.

The scene starts with the father looking lovingly at his wife while pouring her a cup of green juice. As they smile at each other, everything seems right with the world.

But suddenly a hellish terror (aka, the aftermath of childhood messiness) robs them of their peace.

When he starts walking toward his beloved spouse, he steps on a tiny toy, hurts his foot and from there all hell breaks loose. Because, of course.

At that moment, we find out they have a son who’s apparently left his toys on the floor. As he slips, his drink hits their beautiful white walls, and everyone stands frozen in disbelief.

I feel that commercial on a spiritual level. I mean, haven’t we all been there?

Not just because I’m thrilled to see a Black family represented on TV. But also, because I’ve suffered an injury (or ten) thanks to the mountains of small plastic toys on the floor.

And I think I speak for every parent of young children when I say the following: Please, unless you hate us with your whole heart, I beg you to STOP BUYING OUR KIDS GIFTS WITH MILLIONS OF TEENY-TINY PIECES.


You’d make our lives astronomically easier (and less painful).

At first, I thought I should be grateful for every gift given to my son. It was a blessing that anyone thought of us in the first place. And to follow up that thought with a gift was a heartwarming gesture.

But out of nowhere, I realized some gifts, like marbles and tiny plastic things, would temporarily bring a smile to my son’s face but be a long-term pain in my ass.

From one gift giver to another, please stop with the teeny tiny, multi-piece toys. You’re driving our household bonkers.

I find these toys EVERYWHERE. In the kitchen, lodged in the air events. Hell, I might have even laid down on a toy car in my own bed. And you know they are all over the floor. ALL.OVER.

The day after Christmas, my house felt like a death trap. Have you ever tiptoed downstairs for a late night orange-juice-straight-from-the-carton break, only to slip on a stealthily placed toy race car? Or worse, felt the mirrors and the sunroof stab the undercarriage of your foot?

Well, I have. And I almost broke my damn neck in the process.

Frankly, I don’t understand why anyone would buy multi-piece toys for children under a certain age. The most shocking part about the whole thing is most often, the folks sending the gifts are parents themselves.

I often wonder if my husband’s family buys our son sets of toys as a practical joke. Just because they are empty nesters now, doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten. Or does it?

When your children leave the house, do you suddenly get amnesia about all the horrible experiences you had with their toys? Will I wake up one day, yawn, and send my grandchildren a 200-piece toy set for Christmas?

Probably not. You know why? Because I’ll probably die slipping on one of those plastic bouncy balls that everyone hates. Like seriously, what kind of idiot sends these things to a three-year-old?! At this point, there are two possible outcomes: They put it in their mouth and choke, or it ends up lodged in the vacuum. What kid in the history of the world was able to keep up with a toy that small?

It’s not just tiny blocks and toy cars that make bad gifts. It’s also bouncy balls, super miniature action figures, and all of the other teeny-tiny things they see on YouTube and beg grandma for.

I’m not saying those items will be bad gifts forever. But they won’t be useful until my kids stop putting things in their mouth and has mastered picking up their own toys.

Make life easier for your friends and family with kids. If you decide to get our children gifts, make them large so they’re easy to see and hard to swallow. I’d also request that they don’t talk or make sounds but that’s another conversation for another time.

If you heed my advice, you will avoid wasting your money and my time when I donate it or throw it in the trash. But more importantly, you’ll be one less obstacle during my late-night self-care drinking juice out of the bottle episodes.

If you don’t take my advice and you have young kids, I’ll start sending you extravagant packages of the loudest toys of the season. And permanent markers. When I’m done with my monthly gifts, you’ll rue the day you sent that race car set to my house.

I’ll say it one more time. I’m so glad you thought of us. But please stop with sending the teeny tiny, 1000 piece toys to my house.

You have been warned.

Think I’m playing? Try me.

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