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Why We Don’t Buy Toys For Our Children

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You read the title, why we don't buy toys for our children and before you think of us as mean parents, we are not. Just read the post before you pass any judgment on us.

We love our children and we want to make sure that their needs are met. We want our children to grow up to be responsible people. When I was a single mom, I lost my home to a house fire. I mean lost everything, baby pictures, birth certificates, etc. We had no shoes, no clothing, no ID. This tragedy changed the way I view material things and for that reason I don't care much for material things. I know I post about saving money and toy coupons and the reasons are because I want you to save money on whatever you buy.

Not long after the house fire I met my future husband and father of our 2 boys. Fast forward to now, my home is clutter free and semi organized after having two little boys running around. I take pride that it doesn't take me long to clean my house. A couple of pictures embrace the walls of our home and the reason is because I don't have pictures of my daughter as a baby and the guilt of not having them prevented me from hanging pictures of my boys as newborns. Someday I'll get over that is a work in progress.

My children are the only grandchildren in both side of our family. As a former over spender who spoiled her only child for many years, I can tell you that the amount of toys my daughter had was insane. After the fire I was able to salvage her precious dolls and a few things, but the rest was destroyed.

When my first son was born he got toys. He seemed to receive toys from each member of the family. He had toys everywhere he visit, grandparent's house, and aunt's house. Bikes, cars, puzzles, all kind of toys are gifted to our son. The toy boxes seemed to start multiplying in our home. Birthdays and Christmas was like an explosion of toys all over the place.

During this time when my first son was born we were attacking our debt and trying to become debt free.  While working on our July budget, we decided that we should not buy our kids (my daughter's birthday is August 3rd) any toys. This seem a bit harsh to some people, but if you think about it we didn't really have money to spend on toys when they both have enough to play with anyway.

We were in debt and trying to make it. If we don't have the money we can't get and honestly, another toy is not a necessary. Our children will survive if they don't receive a toy from us. A birthday should be about making that person feel special. We celebrate with a cake and their favorite food in our home every time someone has a birthday. Is not about toys or how many gifts you get on a birthday. Is about celebrating and making memories with family.

That's when we decided that we weren't going to purchase any toys at all. I became pregnant with our second son and the same thing happened on his first birthday. No toys. We celebrated big and made memories; it was simply a special day for my baby boy.

Why We Don't Buy Toys For Our Children - Why We Don't Buy Toys For Our Children, before you think of us a mean parents, we are not. Just read the post before you pass any judgment on us.

Did they receive toys from other family members? Yes, as much as we clearly state NO TOYS, grandparents don't listen! They know what we are doing and why we are doing it and they have cut down on all the toys they buy. When your garage is full of toys and you can't park your car there the point has been made!  After the years they are seeing the point we are trying to make and cutting down tremendously on wasting money on toys.

Not buying toys doesn't make anyone bad parents. Being judge by the amount of toys you purchase your kids is ridiculous. The point we are making is that toys don't make our children happy. Toys don't make our children good people. We don't want entitled kids that think they get toys as rewards or whenever they want.

When we go to the store, I don't get them toys. I don't rewards their good behavior with a toy, good behavior is expected all the time.  I don't want my children to feel that they are entitled to receive a toy from the store because they are behaving well.

I'm not saying I won't buy them anything but I think toys, especially when they have closets and basement full of toys, is not worth spending money on. I remember buying my daughter tons of toys for Christmas only for her to play with them for a few hours and never again. I worked so many hours and the guilt made me spent money on her. After the fire, things change for both of us and I think for the better.

I'm not saying parents should not buy toys for their children. If you are going through a financial crisis like we did when we made this decision to take control of our finance, you will understand. Your child will be OK.  Need over wants, always.

Are the boys happy? Yes, they are happy. As much as we tell our family not to buy them toys, they still do on occasions. However, that doesn’t mean they will have access to it. You see, we replace toys in our home every month or so. The toys that are in the basement come up and the ones in the rooms are sent to the basements. The boys think they are brand new toys and they play with them like it's their first time.

Once they outgrow the toys we will sell them or donate them. The amount of toys your children have doesn't mean you are a good or bad parent. Is what you teach them that does. We, as parents, overspend on toys for our children for some reason and don't look at the big picture.

Let's see how much you spend on toys this Christmas season and see how much time they will spend on toys. I can guarantee you that a simple box will be just as fun! 😉

Think of the clutter you will eliminate. Think of the money you will be saving, but most importantly think of the lesson you will instill on your children.


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  1. I like your style! As much as the husband and I say we won’t buy our kids anymore (we purge and take old ones to the resale store before holidays,) he still gets suckered into it sometimes. I do, too, to be honest. And grandparents….they spoil them! I seriously think that’s where 90% of our toys come from.

    I’m sorry to hear about the fire. I can’t imagine the loss. Especially of those priceless things like photographs.

    1. I think it takes practice or they have adapted to our way of shopping. We just got back from our honeymoon only to come home to brand new toys. When we clean and go through their toys we say to ourselves imagine if we buy them where would they go!

    2. The fire was devastating but it changed everything on a personal level. I think we have found ways to not get suckered in by changing the subject or cracking up jokes. The boys are little, now the teen that’s another story. LOL

  2. I think your kids are lucky to have such wise parents! Memories are going to last a whole lot longer and be way more meaningful than a new toy under the tree. (And no – grandparents never listen about no gift requests, lol!)

  3. I agree! I’m with you on the no more buying toys stance. I took that route many years ago and of course the toys still trickle in, then get broken, then thrown away. A waste of money.

  4. Thanks so much for a beautiful post! I completely agree … we used to regift so much stuff from extended family to donation centers, but after many years we’ve managed to cut down on the gift giving.

    1. Thank you or your kind words. This year we are trying so hard to cut down. Is overwhelming for us at time but we will get there. Thanks again for commenting.

  5. I very rarely buy anything for my daughter from the toy aisle since her grandparents and her aunt (my sister) have that covered. I’ll get crayons or coloring books or something, but toys really aren’t a necessity! For her first birthday, we put “no gifts, please” on the invite since I didn’t want her getting a million little things that I had nowhere to put–the focus was on her and her day, not what gifts she got!

    1. I think that’s when it sink into us that toys were just not worth it on his birthday and he was so overwhelmed. I agree it with you 100%.

  6. Love this! Getting a membership to the children’s museum for christmas instead of toys.

  7. I can see how and why you came to this decision and I in no way judge you. There have been many times when I have cleared through boxes of toys simply to declutter. We have not made a No Toy rul but we have definitely minimized the amount they received significantly.

    1. Is when you start cleaning and going through boxes when you realize how much they have! Thank you Tiffany for taking the time to comment.

  8. This is definitely an interesting take on whether or not you should buy your kids toys. I’m not a parent so I don’t really have any room to have an opinion. So I will say that I’m impressed with your decision and will to carry it out. It seems to be working for your family, and as long as the kids are happy why not! It always cracks me up how a young kid will play with a box for hours.

    1. The box and wrapping papers is what they play with. LOL Thank you for your comment Mary.

  9. I love your perspective on this. This is a concept I am going to have to weigh when we have kids.

  10. Sounds great. We need to go through our kids’ bedrooms and donate a load of toys!!

    1. Go for it! Funny thing is you will see them start playing with the like they never seen the toy before. LOL

  11. I think this is smart. Kids have so much these days, and I feel like no matter what we do, our home is overflowing with toys. Good for you!

  12. I think this fantastic. My kids are SO spoiled. (Like yours they are the only grandkids on both sides of the family, plus they still have their great-grandparents). However, I’ve been able to shrug it off because my kids aren’t rotten. We do a lot of puzzles and craft activities, but I still rationalize the toys since I am a SAHM and we can’t go outside for like 6 months because of the crazy heat. What is the saying chaos leads to chaos? Something like that.

    1. Yeah!The toy situation just simply got out of hand for us. If your child are enjoying them and are your kids are creating awesome memories. Don’t want anyone to feel like I am shaming anyone its just that for us is working and as you can see they are STILL getting their toys. By the ways 6 month of crazy heat!! yikes!

  13. I don’t like to buy my kids toys either. It seems like no toy holds their interest for more than just a few days. Coloring books, paper, and crayons seem to be the only things consistently used. My parents still both buy them a lot though so they definitely aren’t deprived.

    1. Same here Alexa. Baby A loves boxes and wrapping paper. That seems to hold his attention more than anything.

  14. I get so tired of all the toys all over the house sometimes. I try not to buy them for our kids either. But there is still grandparents! 🙂

    1. Yes… grandparents!! I think they get together and have a plan on how much toys they are going to get for the year. LOL

  15. I’m sorry about the fire – I can’t even imagine – but it seems to have really made you focus on what’s important to you. Your kids may not realize it until they’re older, but those memories you’re making are worth way more than anything store-bought!

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  19. I couldn’t agree more! I am in the process of getting ready for a garage sale this weekend and the amount of toys that we have is staggering…WAY too many! Thanks for sharing at Share The Wealth Sunday!

  20. I LOVE this! I’ve been thinking about not getting any toys for my son this year for Christmas, but I’m afraid that other people will judge me. This article was very helpful to me! Thank you.

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  29. I was in a thrift store today and had a sheet set, a door wreath, and a dress for work in my buggy. I had two ladies scold me for not buying my son a toy. He always asks for toys or candy in every store so its kind of second nature that I zone it out because after buying skate boards, rollerblades, bikes, pogo sticks that he has never used, I do not waste money anymore. They made me feel guilty and ashamed that I was buying things and not him a toy. It was very embarrassing. I wish people could understand sometimes.

    1. I am so sorry you felt embarrassed. Its hard for others to understand things. One of my boys is special needs and LOVES maps and people still questions why we don’t get him toys. You are doing the right thing. You are a great person and don’t let anyone say otherwise. 🙂

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