Thanks But No Thanks: Top 5 Worst Gifts for Kids


North Phoenix Moms Blog - Dream Photography Studio - Top 5 Worst Gifts for Kids

So my little guy turned 5 last Thursday. FIVE! I can’t believe it. He’s growing way too fast, but that’s an entirely different blog post. Now for this one…

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but at his birthday party he was generously gifted with not one but TWO sets of Kinetic Sand! I know my friends truly care for me, but when your kid receives two of the messiest toys on Planet Earth, you begin to question their friendship. (Insert wink emoticon here.)

I have a love/hate relationship with Kinetic Sand. I mean, the stuff is magical! I was completely mesmerized by the commercials, thinking “sand that doesn’t stick to you? How could that possibly BE?” (or, what sorcery is THIS?)

One trip to the store later and it was in my home. More accurately, all over my home. As advertised, it “didn’t stick to humans,” as my newly turned 5-year-old would say, but it did make a mess of everything else within a 50-foot radius.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Kinetic Sand, and how my son plays with it for hours on end. As an only child, these toys can really free up a few hours of my time. But that time is re-invested in the hours of cleanup. I’m not joking. Hours. Just when you think you’ve scooped up every last grain, you find a little family of the stuff in the couch crevices. Or on the dog. Or, at bathtime, “where the sun don’t shine.” (No, I didn’t ask him. No, I don’t want to know.)

Fortunately I’ve figured out how to clean up Kinetic Sand quickly and efficiently. First, after much coaxing, my son and I work together and bag what we can. Then, I simply grab the hand sweeper and suck up all that’s left. This not only rids my home of those tiny grains of sand. Eventually after a few times, there’s no more sand. MAGIC!

North Phoenix Moms Blog - Dream Photography Studio - Top 5 Worst Gifts for Kids 2

So with that said, here’s my list of the Top 5 Worst Gifts for Kids:

#5 Bead sets (I for one have not had trouble with these probably because I have a boy. But when I polled my fellow contributors, the comment was, “Who does that.” So that alone earned it the number 5 spot.)

#4 Play swords or things that make your kids want to hit others, animals and the walls.  (Obvious reasons.)

#3  Anything that makes noise. (This is just plain courtesy for other parents.)

#2 Play doh (I know this stuff has been around forever, but I have to believe this was on my parents’ Top 5 List too.)

And coming in at #1… you know it… Kinetic Sand!

What is the most awful/annoying gift your child has received?  Any toys you would not wish on your worst enemy?

Photos courtesy of Dream Photography Studio

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The last few years have brought big changes for Emily. After spending years in high-stress, deadline-driven TV jobs in East Coast metros, family circumstances brought her and her husband Joel to the Arizona desert. Now this former news junkie is a stay-at-home mom to Miles, a fast-talking toddler with energy to spare. She spends her days teaching him about faith, letters, numbers and manners. Whenever he’s asleep she boots up the laptop to write for North Phoenix Moms Blog and other freelance gigs. Whatever spare time she has left is spent on a hike with her family or a rare date night with Joel, at the gym, coffee and dinner with friends, or in her craft room creating simple, beautiful jewelry for her online boutique, Hazel & May, and giving too many treats to her pups, Pepper and Gizmo.


  1. Barbie or MLP toys with lots of tiny little accessories. I’m constantly picking up miniature dishes and wanting to toss them in the garbage. Haha

  2. Bendaroos are awful. With wood floors they were impossible to get off once they sat unattended for an amount of time. Oh and the rubber bands to make the loom bracelets. You find those suckers everywhere!


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