How to Ask for No Toys at a Birthday Party

How to Ask for No Toys at a Birthday Party

An Overabundance of Toys
An Overabundance of Toys

Giving children presents, especially during their birthday party, is what people are accustomed to do. Not to mention, a toy is an effortless and fun option when it comes to picking a present for kids. However, some parents opt to politely ask for no toys at their kids’ birthday party for different reasons.

As a parent whose child has tons of playthings already, how do you ask for no toys at your child’s birthday party without being rude? How do you say it without taking the thrill out of it? 

There is no better and more effective way to ask for no toys than to say it – either written in the invitation or verbal. Try this: “If you want to give a gift to our child, we prefer books, clothes, gift cards, school stuff, or shoes instead of playthings.”

You have to be honest and open when you tell this to your relatives and friends. You also have to tell them ahead of the birthday party, so that they would have enough time to think and choose a gift that is better than a toy. In addition, you also have to make sure that your tone is positive and polite.

How Not to be Rude When Asking for Better Althernatives

  • Be honest and express it

First, it would be helpful if you would let your relatives, friends, and other guests know that you are asking for no toys as gifts at your child’s birthday party. It would be even better if you tell them your purpose for requesting for alternatives. But then again, never forget to remind them that you appreciate their being thoughtful. Whether they give a present or not, you must always let them feel appreciated.

  • Emphasize what your child needs

Remember that there is no shame in emphasizing the things that your child really needs. In fact, you can graciously recommend other ideas, such as an educational activity or a fun experience over giving your child play stuff. You can always suggest your preferred gifts to your loved ones and other invitees without sounding needy or demanding.

  • Establish rules on giving presents
    • One thing that your child needs
    • An item that your child wants
    • Something that your child can wear (clothing, shoes, a bag, or a watch)
    • A good book to read or any educational stuff he can learn from

Sure, the idea of setting rules may seem restrictive. Still, giving or suggesting instructions for giving gifts to your kid would be helpful. When you ask for no toys and set gift rules, you give your relatives, as well as other guests, a fun challenge to look for the best alternative to baubles. In addition, if it is not asking too much, you may suggest that they give your child any of the following gifts mentioned above.

  • Send out a wish list

When you create and send a wish list to all of your invitees, it will be convenient not only for them but will be beneficial to you, as well. You can control what your child would receive and get what your kid wants. 

In addition, the guests would save time and energy on looking for the perfect present. When you create a wish list, do it with your kid. Let him enjoy and feel the thrill of thinking about what he wants to receive on his special day.

  • Don’t feel shy and awkward

Initially, of course, you would feel that asking for no toys and requesting for alternative presents would be awkward. But then again, just think of it this way – those who would give presents like to give something that the celebrant would really cherish. They would feel appreciated if they see that their presents were put to good use. So asking for other more valuable things and giving alternative suggestions would be helpful.

  • Suggest giving two different presents

If it is not asking too much, you may request your loved ones and other invitees to give two reasonably priced presents. They may give one that the child wants along with another thing that the child needs. They may give monetary presents or a gift card.

When gift-givers bring not only a child’s necessity but also what he likes, the kid would still experience the excitement and joy of opening something that they want.

  • Recommend experience gifts
    • Art class
    • Theme park outing
    • Camping trip

Theme Park
Theme Park

When you encourage your loved ones and other guests to give those gifts instead of the usual presents, not only will your child enjoy it, but he will also display excitement as the event approaches.

Parents’ Reasons for Asking for No Toys

  • Parents opt to ask for no toys at a birthday party to avoid their house from being full of unnecessary stuff, such as too many toys.
  • When a child has toys that are more than enough, he would not be able to play and store each of them properly. The result? Missing toys.
  • Toys, especially big ones, also consume space. Of course, when there are a lot of toys, there won’t be enough space.
  • Whenever kids play, toys will be all over the floor. That would result to a messy house.
  • When a lot of new toys surrounds a child, he won’t be able to give his attention to each one of them. What would happen, instead, is that some would be his favorites while others would be less special.
  • Not every toy has the same quality. There are some which are not safe. Some toys are dangerous to kids because they have high lead content while some are made from low quality plastic.
  • Every parent, if not all of them, thinks that there are other gifts that are more valuable than toys. They believe that it is better for their children to receive more important things during their birthday. These are things like learning materials, weather essentials (jacket, boots, beanie, umbrella, raincoat, earmuffs, and gloves), different passes, or monetary gift that they could use for their future.

Better Alternatives to Toys

  • A new pair of shoes
  • Child-friendly pets, such as dogs, cats, fish, or birds
  • Cooking class
  • A smart watch with GPS tracker
  • School and art supplies
  • A date with him to his favorite restaurant
  • New books
  • A trip to the movies
  • Ballet, swimming, or piano lessons
  • A day to watch his favorite play/s
  • Gift certificate
  • An educational trip to the zoo
  • Hiring birthday party entertainers

The Negative Effects of Having Too Many Toys

Toys All Over the Floor
Toys All Over the Floor

As a parent, you have different reasons for opting to limit your child’s toys as well as for wanting to ask your guests for no toys at your kid’s birthday party or at any occasion. But did you know that aside from avoiding the clutter, limiting your kid’s playthings is also good for your child?

According to experts, having an oversupply of toys can possibly affect and hamper your child’s behavior and further development. In the presence of too many toys, your kid can have anxiety. 

In addition, an overabundance of toys can affect his ability to focus, which may eventually lead to a short attention span.

On the other hand, a child with only a few toys uses his imagination more. As a result, he becomes more creative, inventive, artistic, as well as resourceful.

The Other Extreme: Reasons Why Some Parents Buy their Children Too Many Toys

Kid Playing with Lego
Kid Playing with Lego
  • There are parents who give in to the demands of their children for more new toys.
  • Some parents use toys as motivation for their kids. In fact, they bribe their children with more toys just for them to get something done.
  • For the purpose of making a living, there are a lot of parents who are too busy. For that reason, they use toys to calm their children. They also use toys to make up for the time that they can’t be around to be with their kids.
  • There are several parents who are persuaded by advertisements that show new toys. For the reason that they want their children to have fun and be happy, they keep on buying new ones for their kids.
  • Parents think that their children would be missing out if they would not buy their kids the latest toys. And because they want to give their children nothing but the best, they avail every latest toy that is available in the market.
  • Some parents only have one child. For that reason they want to spoil their kid and give him all the good things that would make him happy.
  • There are also a few parents who were deprived of toys when they themselves were at a young age. And so because they don’t want their kids to experience the same, they shower them with a lot of toys.
  • Other parents think that having too many toys is a symbol of being well off. So to brag and show off, they buy their kids new and expensive ones.
  • Some parents think that having more toys means being happier.

Children Must Not be Given Too Many Toys: Here’s Why

  • Whenever you give in to your child’s demand for more new toys, he will always keep on asking for even more.
  • Children who only have a few toys spend more time outdoors. They take part in physical activities which are very important to their healthy and sound mental as well as physical growth.
  • The idea that having more toys would make your children well-behaved is not true at all. In fact, the more toys they have, the more possessive and selfish they would possibly become.
  • More toys cause fights between siblings. It’s not true that they can prevent your kids from fighting. This is because some kids don’t want to share.
  • Children who own only a few toys have more interest in art, reading, writing, as well as other productive activities. These habit-forming activities help them appreciate and learn about human conversations, emotions, interactions. In addition, they also learn to value the sense of bonding.
  • When a child only has a limited number of toys, he learns to take care of things better because he doesn’t have as many play stuff as other kids have. He realizes the value of the only ones that he owns so he keeps them in good condition.
  • Children who don’t own a lot of toys have better social skills. They grow up having more time to communicate and interact with their loved ones and friends.
  • When kids are overloaded with toys, they do not take time to learn to do household chores.
  • Toys are a distraction. That is why children with fewer things to play have a better appetite.
  • Trinkets included in fast food meals can reduce children’s appetite for home-cooked meals.
  • When kids have a lot of toys, they play from one toy to the other. This will affect their ability to focus and concentrate.
  • Always giving in to your kid’s demands and buying him whenever he wants will not encourage him to value everything that he receives. This is because they will not value what they already have if they always get the things that they want.
  • Having too many toys is like an addiction. This can affect them in a negative way when as they grow up.

There is nothing wrong if you really want to ask for no toys at your kid’s birthday party. Just keep in mind that you have to say it in a way that both your invitees and your child would understand. Let your child know that there are more valuable things than toys.

Related Questions

  • What is the Too-Many-Toys Syndrome?

It is simply about having too many toys. This syndrome can negatively impact a child’s development.

  • How do I know if my child has the Too-Many-Toys Syndrome?
    • When they get bored easily.
    • When they no longer appreciate receiving more new ones.

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