When choosing a gift for a child, there’s more to consider than whether they’ll like it. Although that’s important, you should also think about the safety and appropriateness of the gift. Is it a novelty item that the child will get bored with quickly? Is it a disruptive toy that you’ll regret gifting after five minutes?
These are some of the worst types of gifts for kids. As you complete your shopping this year, steer far clear of these items.
Toy Megaphones and Microphones
Any item with the sole purpose of making very loud noises is going to be a lot of fun for kids–and absolute misery for everyone else. Do yourself (and the neighbors, family pets, teachers, and classmates) a favor. Don’t buy these toys.
Kids are notorious for losing things. They also have little concept of value, so gifting them gold earrings or a locket is a wild thing to do. Even teenagers might be better off with a less expensive (though still shiny) gift if they’re into jewelry.
If you’ve ever seen a vicious Nerf fight staged in the middle of your living room, then you know the destructive power of toy guns. Any kind of toy weapon, even if it’s unlikely to hurt your child, could still be a force of destruction. Is violence really what you want to instill in your kids?
Toys with Apps or Websites
These days, many toys come packaged with an online or app-based component. Webkinz, Furbies, and other popular toys encourage kids to participate in virtual communities–and, potentially, make digital purchases, too. Not only is this a bad idea for your wallet, but it’s also not great for the child’s safety. Online predators and virtual bullies are no joke.
The era of popping in a DVD for kids to watch is over. They’re being raised on streaming TV and movies, and in a few years, young kids probably won’t recognize those weird holographic discs. Gifting a physical copy of a movie, even if it’s one that you know the child likes, is sadly outdated.
Can we all agree to stop giving animals as gifts? Whether it’s a hermit crab or a puppy, a pet is a serious commitment. Aside from the principle of “adopt, don’t shop,” animals that are given as gifts at the holidays may not receive the care they need.
What more needs to be said? Kids will always love candy–and it will always be bad for them. Stuffing their stockings full of sugar is bad for their health and wellbeing.