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Bad Santa: 3 toys you should never buy for kids
December 5, 2012 at 7:57 AM



TODAY Moms brings you expert parenting advice, news, tips and stories for both moms and dads.



Bad Santa: Three kinds of toys you shouldn't buy for kids co-founder Stephanie Oppenheim tells TODAY all about the best toys for kids every year. asked her to share her picks for the WORST. What toys should you never give, especially to someone else's child?

By Stephanie Oppenheim, TODAY contributor

Super noisy toys
If it's so annoyingly loud or insistent that you want to scream, that's a good indication that the toy is too noisy. Unless you know that this particular family loves the clamor, I'd steer clear of loud toys or products without volume control. That's one of the factors we look at when we review toys.

Toys with projectile parts
You can't ensure that siblings won't "accidentally" shoot in the direction of their little sister. I'd also be careful about giving toys that come with lots of small parts when you know there is a baby or toddler in the house.


Gross toys
Toys that enable you to make green candy snot just don't do it for me. I also steer clear of what I call ugly "rococo-plastic." Toys should have a certain level of design.

A couple more tips to remember when picking the perfect gift for children:

Parent intensive
Don't give a gift that requires a great deal of parental supervision, unless you know the parent is really into trying a chemistry set, putting together a 1,000-plus piece construction set, or teaching their children how to play a super complicated board game.

Special needs
Be mindful of the special needs of the children on your list. For example, a child with ADHD may be too frustrated by a long game with lots of rules. We have a list of toys for kids with special needs on our site.


  • whatmynameagain
    December 5, 2012 at 8:03 AM
    You mean don't get the kind of gifts the grandparents would? Lol
  • lillucky8
    December 5, 2012 at 8:05 AM
    Or the kinds of gifts your kidless friends would buy lol

    Quoting whatmynameagain:

    You mean don't get the kind of gifts the grandparents would? Lol
  • Teeshann
    December 5, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    DO buy age appropriate toys.

  • Clairwil
    December 8, 2012 at 5:11 AM
    Quoting maciymommieof3: co-founder Stephanie Oppenheim tells

    We have a list of toys for kids with special needs on our site.

    Um, were you being paid to advertise them?

  • tyfry7496
    December 8, 2012 at 5:24 AM
    Better yet by toys by the child's development. Age isn't always good either.

    Quoting Teeshann:

    DO buy age appropriate toys.

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