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To not want my kids to get any toys for Christmas?

103 replies

CallMeMaybeee · 15/09/2017 20:23

I have two girls, 3 and 1.5. They have lovely bedrooms, nothing fancy or extravagant but I've tried to make them nice places for them to sleep. A couple of storage units with toys in, a dress up area, lots of books and some jigsaw puzzles. At the end of the day, we tidy up the toys and then the toys are out of sight ready for bedtime.

They don't have millions of toys, I'd say just the right amount. Purely because I clear them out now & again and give the excess to charity. Having recently done a clear out, I just can't see how either of them will benefit from getting more toys. Countless relatives have been in touch asking what to get them and I've said I'll have a think. The truth is, I don't like the idea of their bedrooms and our living room overflowing without toys. They are well entertained with what they already have. I know my eldest would be devastated if she doesn't get any toys from santa so I'll no doubt go through the motions. I've tried telling relatives not to buy any cumbersome toys but I get the feeling that's going on one ear and out the other.

Am I being cruel? Is the house being covered in toys just something I'll have to get used to? Just to clarify, they do have plenty of toys. I have a large cupboard full and a couple of small storage units. They have a toy kitchen and all the accessories, they have toy cars, bikes, ride ons etc. I just don't want to have one of those houses where you can't move for toys. I'm also not keen on the idea of spoiling the kids and the already have what I would deem to be a more than sufficient amount.

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Hi! This thread is a little out of date. If you're looking for toy recommendations, take a peek at our roundup of the top Christmas toys - as chosen by Mumsnetters. MNHQ

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Haudyerwheesht · 15/09/2017 20:28

Yabu to get them no toys I think but you could get things which you might see as less wasteful?

Things that get used up? Eh craft kits, paints, stickers, baking set

Things to improve things they already have eg: more food, bigger dressing up outfits, dolls clothes or whatever

Do they have scooters? I think they're a good buy. Do you have a garden? Trampoline is good and although big isn't in your house at least!

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Birdsgottafly · 15/09/2017 20:28

Does your three year old have games suitable for her, such as Hungry Hippos etc, or learning type games, face paints etc rather than toys?

My GD is nearly three and we are all putting in for a two storey play house. Other than that, each of us is paying for a day out, we've got a lot of children's Christmas Parties/Pantos going on locally.

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Toomuchocolate · 15/09/2017 20:29

Tell them to get other things. Books, pens, play dough, clothes, bedding set etc.

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HappySpade · 15/09/2017 20:31

Just had this discussion with DH a few nights ago. Our DDs are 4 and 7. We're going with gifts of experience - might be a bit hard with your DCs ages. DD (7) is getting a theatre ticket and she'll go with my mum. Could suggest gifts of activities, classes, or passes to museums. We got a lovely present a few years ago of a family membership to a science centre.

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Ecureuil · 15/09/2017 20:33

I have 3 and 2 year old girls. For Christmas we're telling anyone who asks that they'd like craft supplie, puzzles and board games. They're the sort of thing that keeps their attention rather than toys.

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Mammylamb · 15/09/2017 20:35

I was thinking about this today! Our 2 year old has s full playroom of toys. I have only bought him one present for Christmas as I honestly don't think he needs any more toys, but I am feeling quite mean. He gets loads of toys from grandparents and stuff handed down. I genuinely don't see how any more toys can benefit him

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MuddlingMackem · 15/09/2017 20:35

Is there something you can get for them that family can add to, eg a Sylvanian Families house and the family can buy extra sets for it. Some of them you will be able to store all of the bits in the main present. This might work for the three year old, but not sure about the younger one.

Or, if they don't already have one, what about CD players for in their rooms? My DC always liked listening to music and audio books at bedtime when they were younger. That way family can buy them CDs to listen to.

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Ylvamoon · 15/09/2017 20:36

Your older girl is reaching an age where she could have play sets ... Playmobil, Lego, ... craft and Science kits.
Maybe you could focus on one type of play set and add every year (birthday & Christmas).

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Sunnydaysrock · 15/09/2017 20:36

I personally think christmas is all about the toys for kids. There are a certain amount of years when your house will have a lot of toys, but it's not forever. At 13 and 9 we have no toys downstairs now. DS9s room is full of Lego and King Kong toys, they're out all the time as he play with them alot. Excessive amounts of toys is obviously senseless but kids remember the fab toys they get at Christmas, and do they really have to be tidied away every day?

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silverbell64 · 15/09/2017 20:38

Give the old ones away then OP. Then get them some of what they want. I don't understand people that think their kids will be fine with nothing to open under the tree (or wherever else you put them). Is it called a fashionably alternative Christmas?

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Brightsmoke · 15/09/2017 20:39

Might be a bit advanced for your kids, but maybe useful for when they are older;

Doing 'advent' as a giving tool. They chose one toy a day for the whole of December to donate, that way, they learn about people less fortunate, as well as clearing out in time for new toys

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melissasummerfield · 15/09/2017 20:40

Yabu, please dont ruin christmas for your children. They dont believe in the magic of it forever!

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MrsKoala · 15/09/2017 20:44

I'm thinking similarly - just getting them something big like bikes. I've spent today clearing out toys and there are hundreds of cars. We've tried buying other things but they just refuse to play with anything else. They wont do crafts or jigsaws or anything like that. If they get asked what they want its cars or swords. We have 15 swords and 8 shields now. Confused

For us it's not the amount so much, just the lack of variety.

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Neverknowing · 15/09/2017 20:45

I agree with you op. I really don't like any sort of clutter and tbh how many toys will your children have that they will never use? My mum used to say that we had to make space for Christmas so a few weeks before we would go through our rooms and throw old toys away.
I assume you're still going to buy them nice things for their Christmas just not loads of 'shite' they don't really want anyways!!

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ChiBox · 15/09/2017 20:59

I don't like masses of toys either. I used to want a 'play room' I've yet to see one that's in decent order. So I've stopped wishing for one.

My two share a room they have lots of lego and playmobil. They have one tall ikea trofast unit each with bits and bobs in.

We love board games and have a huge amount. They get played with alot.

I buy the toys for Christmas but if family ask for ideas I ask for things like logo swim towels, personalised pjs, personalised mugs. Its stopped the plastic mountain. Now they are older they get magazine subscriptions and days out.

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hidinginthenightgarden · 15/09/2017 21:01

Why don't you think of something "big" like a trike for the youngest and balance bike for your eldest and ask people to chip in to get those? I often ask for Pj's or clothes for my 2.

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HeteronormativeHaybales · 15/09/2017 21:03

I can parent earnestly and worthily with the best of them, but I can't help feeling there's something rather joyless and snobbish about this. A good bit of it seems to be about how it all looks, the clutter. New toys at Christmas - things that make children's hearts beat faster, not just educational craft sets and bedding (I do concede that good books and audiobooks are absolute essentials, no Christmas or birthday can be without them) - are thinga of joy and wonder to children. They can be well thought out and well chosen, but Christmas, of all things, shouldn't revolve around adult sensibilities of educational benefits and clutter-free houses.

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HeteronormativeHaybales · 15/09/2017 21:04

Oh, and I find the assumption on here thus far that toys per se = plastic tat rather odd.

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dontcallmethatyoucunt · 15/09/2017 21:06

Most kids have far too much. We didn't buy our kids anything for Xmas last year!

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Mamabear4180 · 15/09/2017 21:07

This is why my 2 and 1 year old have hardly anything, so I can get them toys for xmas/birthdays! I just get one present on their birthdays and one for xmas with a few games/books and sweets etc. Nothing too mad. I don't tell other people what to buy them but I will put away stuff they're not into/ready for.

I think you've got the right attitude generally but I'd have less generally so xmas and birthdays can be special.

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CotswoldStrife · 15/09/2017 21:07

The OP is intending to buy the children toys from Santa, I thought it was more about stopping the influx from relatives Confused

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Believeitornot · 15/09/2017 21:08

Books? That's the one thing I do spoil my children with. They both love books.

Arts and craft stuff? My dd hashardly any toys but could put WHSmith out of business.

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ChiBox · 15/09/2017 21:09

I don't think plastic = tat. My two love lego and playmobil. It's just the huge amount of stuff it's been in the past in our house. I do but the things they are hoping for and Its mostly (plastic) toys!

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MyPatronusIsAUnicorn · 15/09/2017 21:09

It's Christmas. For children, it's about toys and presents. I find this attitude rather odd that because they already have stuff, then they aren't to get new toys. My DCs really don't need anymore toys, but I love seeing how happy they are opening something they really wanted and playing with it. That's what Christmas is about (unless you are very religious).

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CallMeMaybeee · 15/09/2017 21:10

HeteronormativeHaybales I understand your point however, I've got relatives whose children have mountains of toys in every room and in my experience, the children don't appreciate or take care of these toys due to the sheer volume. They won't sit and use their imagination playing with one toy set for an hour, they'll play with something for a minute, toss it aside and move onto the next.

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