The holiday season is all about reminiscing with family, eating great food – and, for children, receiving gifts. If there are some special little tikes in your life, then it may be understandably tempting to spoil them rotten and then send them home to their parents. Just remember that what goes around comes around and that if you want to stay on karma’s good side, it’s a good idea to consider gifts that won’t drive mom and dad nuts. Here is a guide to choosing holiday gifts for toddlers without pissing off the parents:
Keep the racket down. Toddlers make enough noise as it is, with all their temper tantrum throwing, nap-fighting crying, and “I want what I can’t have” begging. The worst thing you could do during the holiday season would be to add to all the noise with gifts like a mini drum set, megaphone, or talking doll. Before you purchase a gift that makes a sound, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable hearing that sound incessantly, day in and day out for who knows how long, and then make your decision accordingly.
Don’t make a mess. Some toys are just plain messy – especially for toddlers – and there’s no way around it. Sure, those super deluxe Play-doh kits look like a lot of fun, but have you ever tried to clean Play-doh out of a rug? And finger paints may be a lot of fun for a toddler, but are not a great gift idea unless the parents have a designated arts and crafts space. Think of clean-up time when you are purchasing toddler gifts and go easy on the parents, who have to do enough cleaning as it is.
Assembly required. Just how much assembly is required? Are mom and dad going to have to take a college course in mechanics and take up weight training in order to be able to put your gift together? If so, then you may want to consider purchasing a gift that requires less manual labor.
Stay away from small parts. While the previously mentioned gifts might be more of an annoyance than anything, there are some gifts that are downright dangerous for toddlers. Basically, anything that can fit into a toddler’s mouth and down a windpipe is a choking hazard, and should be avoided. Be sure to read the age range printed on the packaging, and always use your common sense when in doubt. The general rule when it comes to toddler toys is better safe than sorry.
As you can see, there are some basic guidelines when it comes to respecting the parents of toddlers during the gift-giving holiday season, whether you choose personalized gifts or things that are more fun. Stay on mom and dad’s good side by avoiding these toddler gift pitfalls.
Ruthanne Daudt loves her nephews but knows their parents prefer a quieter household. She tries to keep that in mind when choosing gifts!