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4 More Gifts You Better Not Buy My Kid

Oh, Meredith. I hear you!

This will make my second holiday season since becoming a mother, and I’ve already got a ton of family members sending emails with lists of stuff they want to buy our toddler. This is great and all. While I love all things Christmas, I truly fail to understand why such a small child needs so many unnecessary (and expensive) things. I am always quick to recommend savings bonds over toys, but what can you do when folks insist? Give them directions, of course!

Maybe it’s the control freak in me, but if you’re going to go out and spend your hard earned money on my child, then at least aim for something that said child will use. Unfortunately, friends and family members, these items do not make the list.

1. Tablet

Don’t get it wrong, we aren’t against tech devices but such toys really aren’t appropriate for a 2-year old. In addition to potentially slamming it against the wall, tablets won’t hold my 2-year old’s attention for long. She’ll lick it up and down and burst out in tears when she discovers that it won’t float in the bath tub. No, such toys are probably not ideal for little ones who don’t understand the value of pricey electronics. If you ignore this warning, we will let you have the pleasure of babysitting our daughter while she destroys your favorite tech device...your cell phone!

RELATED: How Tablets Ruin Reading for Kids

2. Play-doh

You thought it was a great idea because there were kids on the box, right? Sorry Charlie, try again. Colorful moldable clay is not a good idea for a kid who this time last year didn’t have any teeth and put everything in her mouth. You thought that kit would be a fun activity to do on a rainy day but really it just has me Google’ing How to get Play-doh out of carpet. If you ignore this warning, we’ll decorate your car with Play-doh covered stars.

3. Candy

All kids love candy, right? Yes, you’re right. And you’re wrong, too. So wrong because the last thing a parent of a toddler wants is a toddler hyper up on sugar. Santa shaped chocolate bars should strictly been given to mamas of toddlers, not to toddlers themselves. If you ignore this warning, we’ll gladly accept your offer from the last time you said, “I’d love to babysit!” Our precious girl will be left in your hands after having had 3 square meals of sugar. Organic cane sugar, of course.

4. I'll say it again: stuffed animals!

Before my daughter turned 1, she had about 20 stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes. They’re cute to look at, but a child really doesn’t need more than two. If a kid has a favorite stuffed toy, it usually just one favorite. So please, do not help contribute to the mountain of overflowing stuffed toys in our home. If you ignore this warning, the next time you visit us you won’t be able to sit on the sofa because that massive 5-foot teddy bear you dropped off last time you were over will be in your way.

"So what the heck am I supposed to buy your kid then?" you may be wondering. I’m so glad you asked. Here are some suggestions of items that we know our toddler will absolutely adore.

RELATED: 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Toddlers

  • New shoes. You’re laughing, but nothing excites a toddler more than a pair of new shoes.
  • Passes to the zoo, theme park or interactive experience. Sometimes the best gifts aren’t tangible but actual experiences that can be photographed and remembered.
  • Books. Toddlers love books, books that allow them to flip open slots and play around with different fun features and sounds.
  • Building blocks. Of all of the toys that my daughter has, her attention is actually held for longer than two minutes when she’s playing with blocks. She loves all blocks but when they are colorful and can stack up to the ceiling, she shows pure joy.
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