Toys, toys, everywhere! You cannot go in a store these days without being bombarded by toy options for young children. It’s hard to know if toys are worth the cost, educational, and will be played with.
With the holidays approaching, you might find yourself researching best toys for toddlers. We asked our panel of moms to weigh in on which toys to skip this season.
1. Fake laptop
It’s supposed to teach her about technology? But it just beeps at her and doesn’t even have a true monitor. Seems pointless to me.
Megan Harrell, Project Accounting Supervisor, SAIC
2. Books that specifically teach color or animals
I don’t necessarily wish these were never invented, but they are particularly unenjoyable for me because they are so boring! I would rather my kids learn interactively.
Toni Eberhart, Executive Director, Urban Engine
I got a supersize Surprise Slimy Goop Mix’ems from Costco because the boys begged for it. It was fall break so I was looking for something to keep them occupied. Well, it ended up stuck in hair and in the carpet. Never again!
Audra Lockwood, Stay-at-home mom of three
4. Electronic keyboard with microphone
It sings about the letters all the time and now I know all the songs. My son used to chew on the microphone and bang on the keyboard.
Amanda Cordonis, Senior Auditor, Huntsville Utilities
5. Any electronic
I wish we would all just make a pact to go back to the wooden blocks and rocking horse days. My kids have every video game and toy you can think of and they still complain about being bored.
Reid Selvidge, Nurse Practitioner, Huntsville Hospital
6. Creepy YouTube songs
I admittedly know that this is not a toy, but my daughter loves these and they are so weird, but also very catchy.
Anna Tincher, Anesthesiology Assistant Student, Emory University School of Medicine
7. Anything that makes noise
Not because I don’t like noise. I’m okay with noise, I just think if you push a button to get noise, it takes away from the child’s creative play and I think parents should be the ones talking to children, not toys.
Samantha Blackburn, Preschool Teacher, First Christian Early Childhood Ministry
8. ABC singing refrigerator magnet
I should have thrown this toy away on the first day! We got it to practice the alphabet, but I think I heard it sing “The Wheels on the Bus” more.
Brandy Smith, Senior Vice President, Renasant Bank
They suck all the imagination and creativity out of children! They don’t communicate properly and often appear to be in some sort of “iPad trance.”
Brooke Ray, Stay-at-home mom of three
10. Kinder Joy Eggs
I really just don’t like any toy under five dollars that is close to the check-out line. Sometimes it's worth the bribe in exchange for good behavior, but on the other hand, I don’t want my kids thinking they deserve a treat every time we go somewhere!
Elizabeth Whitehead, Physical Therapist, Nesin Therapy
Of the ten most hated toys listed above, seven of these are or involve some type of an electronic. Moms agree that electronics serve a purpose and can enhance learning. The key is to monitor and be intentional about how and when devices and apps are used.
As you are researching toys for your children, it’s important to analyze what you want from a toy. Would you like it to encourage social growth? Build relationships? Develop fine motor skills? Promote creativity? The truth is, when you think about the purpose of a toy, you can make almost anything educational.
Preschool teachers suggest that some of the best toys for children are not actually toys. Our mom experts love classic toys that are not overly inundated with all the “features” and encourage children to imagine and create. These include blocks, play food, trains, Play-Doh, puzzles, and are all the types of toys that are going to encourage you as a parent to get in the floor and play, too.