I saw these at Simply for Giggles in West Glenn and they have one downtown.
I thought it was a fabulous idea!
I have two young children that get stuffed animals for gift all the time. We have everything from teddy's the size of my two year old to ty babies that fit in the side pocket of the diaper bag. I know my family gives them with love but I don't know what to do with them all. I hate to get rid of them but really I'm running out room. Dose anyone have any ideas about what to do with them? Also my daughter's first birthday is coming up fast and we will probably end up with five to six more. Would it be ok to put something on the invits saying no more plush toys please?
I saw these at Simply for Giggles in West Glenn and they have one downtown.
I thought it was a fabulous idea!
Save them up and donate them to a Social Services office near Christmas to distribute to foster children. Or, donate them to a homeless shelter for children who stay there.
I think it's okay to say that on an invite, if it's stated politely. :)
I am looking for an answer to this myself! I tried using those space bags, but that didn't work. So I guess I will read some of the responses and see what these great Moms say! Good luck! I know I will be giving some to charity, but some most of the animals, she still plays with. My cuaghter is six.
I have six kids, so I know your pain as far as an excess of toys and gifts from others. Just before Christmas, when three of the kids have birthdays, I was feeling really stressed about all the additional gift that we would need to find a place for. So I called Dr. Ray Guarendi, a radio psychologist, to ask his solution. Since he himself has 10 chilren, I knew that it would be something that he'd have experience with. I told him that my three year old daughter just got anther doll for her birthday to a total of probably her tenth doll. I told him that I was making her chose a couple of them to donate to kids less fortunate and he said, "How about having her choose ONE to keep?" Then he said we do want our children to learn to be generous, not selfish and that they don't need multiple of the same or similar items.I asked about how to handle it when these saem people ask her if she likes the doll that they got her or wonder where it is. He said to let them know that she had so many that she gave some to children who didn't have any. Then he suggested that the duplicate toys be taken to a children's wing of a hospital to be given to a child who wouldn't have much for Christmas or who was in need.
Then he illustrated his point with a question. Could he give my child a cookie? I said yes. Then he asked if his sister could. Then his mother and the neighbor and friend. He said that one cookie isn't a bad thing, but one from everyone is not a healthy thing for a child. It's the same way with presents. After this conversation, I spoke with our families and told them what he said. This way they would likely cut back or at least not be surprised when we do take his suggestions. Another thing that I have found is that gift cards or consumable gifts(like coloring books, bath crayons, etc) make great gifts. For gift cards things that we can do together are great, like movies, restaurants or ice cream places.
We try not to open the box of a toy (once the wrapping is removed) for our chilren's gifts at their parties for many reasons. One being to prevent fights with other children around a new toy, another is that we can easily return or re-gift duplicate toys that haven't been opened.
I really think that the best gift that anyone can give a child in the gift of time. We've suggested taking our children to lunch or a play instead of giving them a toy.
At your daughter's age, maybe you could to a "book" themed birthday and ask for books for her.
We have the same problem only with ALL toys. I'm currently in the process of going through our toy-full basement and loading up boxes for Goodwill.
In no way, shape or form should you do things such as register for birthday gifts - that just shouts "Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie!"
You also should not put anything about gifts on the invitations. Bringing a gift to a birthday party is not a requirement (neither are wedding gifts or shower gifts for that matter) it is an option. Granted, most people won't go to a birthday party without one, but it's not something that you should be expecting or requesting.
If someone asks what to get, tell them. If they don't ask, be a good example for your children and say Thank You.
You can always give them to Goodwill later.
If you really want to do a reduction in toys, write on the invite that you'll do a gift exchange at the party because your child is blessed with so much already. Then suggest that each child in attendance bring a gift valued at a specific amount. This eliminates gifts from adults and makes it more fun for all the kids there. It's a little kinder.
I do think the best option is to have your child select half or the plush toys received to send to a charity. That's a great teaching opportunity for the whole family that can continue for a lifetime!
It seems pretty rude to say in an invite that you still want lots of gifts but only these types of gifts. Toy quantity is the gift receivers problem not the gift givers.
For my daughters first birthday I requested that each person invited write her a letter. Filled with whatever they wanted. She got all sorts of things twins cards for that year, poems and also a very dear letter from my Dad who has since passed away. It told her the story about how much he loves her and the first time he held her. He wrote about his dreams for her and how she will grow up to be a wonderful young woman that he knows he will be so proud of. He wrote how blessed he was to have her in his life and that his life was better for having met her. This is for his 6th grandchild, and it was the best gift anyone could have ever received. My daughter was 2 years one week old when he passed away and this I know will be a treasured momento for all time. He also included a picture of him snuggling her as a tiny infant. It makes me want to cry just thinking of it!
I have this problem myself, wish I had a good answer for you. When I've asked in the past, other moms on Mamasource have said try homeless shelters, police/firestations, hospital chaplains, etc. However, I don't find that these are always places willing to take them. You'd have to call around and ask individual places what their needs are. Also, some churches take various kinds of stuffed animals for use in care packages for local or international use (I know this from personal sources); but, again, the question is what do they need and do they need it at the same time you are looking to give away the toys. Good luck to you on this. You can always just take them to your local thrift shop.
On the question of putting it in the invitation... I'd say no way. What people give as a "gift" is just that, a gift, and the only proper response is "thank you". That being said, I do think it would be perfectly fine to tip off some close relatives ("Our kids don't play with them, we have enough...") and also make some general conversation about the same ("We have so many, wish I knew what to do with them...) with other gift givers when you see them and are just talking. Or you could go the other direction and do the registry as was suggested... but I think that's a lot of work when all you want is to NOT receive something.
This is a really hard issue, this issue of "too much". When I tried to talk frankly to my mother-in-law about this in the past, she got really angry and called me "ungrateful". So now I just take whatever is given and get rid of what I can. I think it's generational too - the generations that didn't have enough now showering the next generations with everything they didn't have and then some. Know you aren't alone, and good luck to you!
It would be considered inappropriate, rude and ungrateful to request what others give or don't give as a gift. Look into sending the little Ty babies to the troops over-seas. They give them to needy children. An option for the bigger ones would be teaching your children about less fortunate children and then have them help you bring them around to different shelters. Police officers often keep stuffed animals in their police cars to give out to children in tough situations. I would call the local police department. It would be a great teaching tool for you. If you don't want to get rid of them, then get a mesh net and put them up high in the closet to be out of the way.
I think we all understand this but it is hard I just took two big 55gal bags of toys to the salvation army and non of my kids have asked about any of them. I have started steering people in the right direction. I just heard of a cute idea in kids writing(left handed) Write out a wish list of things and have it on the back or a little insert in the invite. You can send different lists to different groups so the presents don't get doubled up. You could but on there that you are going to collect of a charity, in honor of your daughter. Because she is blessed.
A fun way to organize the Beanie Babies size & smaller is a clear hanging shoe organizer. You can cram two Beanies into each pocket if you need to, more of the smaller animals. It gets them off the floor and up where they can be seen and admired. I got mine at Linens & Things or Bed Bath & Beyond for about $20.
I will also admit that I have, on occasion, gathered up some of my daughter's less-favorite animals and donated them without her knowing. That may sound mean, but she truly never missed them.
Sure! How about making your invites with a photo on the front. Pile up all the plush & surround her... it could be a cute way to make the point! Let your family know you have a "wish list" for her. Most people want to give a gift that is actually wanted & needed, and appreciate a few hints. Gift registries are also great.
I did. When my daughter was a 1-year old I saw that if we were to multiply forward a few years I would have more stuffed toys (toys in general) than space for our family! And my job was to move them around and clean them all the time.
Unfortunately, stuffed animals are an overwhelming problem in our culture. Throw them away and beg people to stop buying them. They are all made in China or Taiwan and only add to the world's environmental crisis as they are made from petroleum.
Write on the invitation, "We have all the stuffed animals/dolls/trucks (whatever you don't want)....we can house. Please consider puzzles and/or clothes (whatever you do want) when choosing a gift for baby."
As my kids grew, I made it a policy (based on my own experience) to give exhaustible gifts - things that could be used up. Just today my daughter is going to a 13 year birthday and bringing a gift certificate to an ice cream shop. When we have birthdays, we write "Exhaustible gifts only please!" on the invitation. She gets a lot of chocolate, pencils, writing paper, etc... which is great!
I have the same problem! We have a big toy box filled with stuffed animals. I have almost solved the problem of receiving any more of them by telling our parents and close friends well before any birthdays or holidays that we have declared a moratorium on stuffed animals and anyone who brings one to our house is getting punched in the guts. I laugh as I say this, of course, but it gets my point across. And since I don't say it just as my kids are receiving one everyone has laughed and not gotten offended.
If my kids receive one I am gracious about it and say thank you but it really has stopped the in-flow from those closest to us.
Hi, we always periodically give ours away because otherwise, there are too too many. I do it without his knowledge (he's now 3) and since he doens't miss them, then I know they weren't that important. There are only 8 that are his favorites and they don't go anywhere. It's the others that I donate.
I just checked craigslist in the Wanted section. There is an animal shelter in the north metro who would love donations of stuffed animals. It was posted 3-27-2008. I just did a searched under the wanted section for stuffed animals. I'm sure they would love to received yours.
I know you hate to get rid of them but you may have to and keep her favorate ones. There are places such as hospitals that will take stuffed animals and give them to those children who come into the emergency rooms. There are other things as well.
Hi V., I'm R. a mother of three young girls 6,4,2. I have them pick out two or three that they really love, and tell them that there are kids that could use and love. The others by donateing to kids hospitals, and good will. Don't be afraid to tell the family some plush toys are fine. But suggest maybe board games or learning toys there are so many choises this day in age. Hope I could be of some help.R.
Hi Valerie! We have a similar problem with stuffed animals... except that it seems to be mostly me who buys all the stuffed animals... haha. We use hanging nets in the corners of my son's room to hold his stuffed animals. When I was looking around for some nets, I came across something called the Boon Otto Animal Bag. The company that makes it is called Boon. There are different types of them, but it is a really neat idea! It is kind of like a bean bag chair, except you put the stuffed animals in it. It has easy access zippers and "windows" where you can see the animals through it. We don't have the space for one, but I wish we did! They are kind of expensive, but from the reviews I have read, many people LOVE them. Try looking for it at Amazon.com! Good luck!
If some of the stuffed animals aren't in the best shape you could always give them to an animal shelter, too. I agree you shouldn't ask people not to bring plush toys, but maybe casually bring up the excitement about her birthday coming soon with those invited and then maybe they'll ask what she needs. Or if they have children you could say "My daughter really needs some new developmental toys, do you have any suggestions that I could get for her?"
That way they feel helpful that you are asking their opinion and you are also giving them a hint. Good luck!
I requested "no stuffed animals please . . . we have plenty" on our Christmas wish lists. I've never included anything on a birthday invite though. My family understood AND they complied with the request.
When we receive multiples - clothes, books and TOYS, I send them to grandmas. They'll take the hint too when you give them a bag full of stuffed animals to house. #1 - the kids have something to play with there AND #2 - they can store them.
Quarterly and sometimes even monthly, I go through my kids toys and we sort out what to keep and what to give away. Sometimes that's hard to do with my child there and sometimes they are willing to give up toys I'm not ready to part with. But, you can periodically weed out some toys or at least put them away in storage boxes.
We bought something at Target that allows for up to 9 little storage fabric boxes and/or holes for books or bigger toys. It was about $40 and then you can buy as many boxes as you'd like (we bought 4). It works well to put all their little toys in the bins so that it doesn't look all messy. If they are overflowing - you need to give some away. It gives the kids a limit too.
Hi. I see nothing wrong with asking your friends and family to avoid giving the plush toys. As far as the ones they have, if they are in good shape, you could always donate them to the hospital or police deapartment. They would then be given to a child in distress.
I don't think many places will take donations of these toys because they can't be sure they are clean. I would absolutely tell people "no more, please". I agree with a previous responder who said give (or request) gifts that can be used up OR that can be experienced, like tickets to a children's museum, skating rink, or other appropriate activity.
My daughter is 6 and the number of birthday parties she gets invited to is outrageous, and the pile of presents at each is equally outrageous, it looks bigger than Christmas (xmas at our house, especially). It is up to us parents to put some limits on this.
Have you thought of donating some of the new plush toys to a pediatric unit in the hospital? Another possibility is donating some to a battered women's shelter. Instead of sitting around collecting dust, they could make some little kid's DAY and bring joy into the lives of people who could really use some.
As for the upcoming birthday... instead of saying "no more plush toys," just let them know what kinds of things you DO want. For example, you could say, "Little Katie is really into sorting toys right now," or "We could really use some summer clothes in size 12-18 months," or "She would love new bath toys", or board books, or whatever.
I know what you mean about the stuffed animals, though. We are about to have a yard sale, and I have two enormous black lawn/leaf bags full of them. It can get crazy. Good luck.
Do you know anyone that has a waiting room or lobby seating area at work? We used to have tons of stuffed animals that still looked new so I would send my husband to work with them. Then when there was a child that was crying or would not sit still he could ask the mother if she would like a stuffed animal for the child. This made the mother, child, and everyone else in the room that had to hear the crying child very happy. LOL
You can donate them to any police department. They keep stuffed animals in their cars for children involved in accidents, domestic violence, etc. It's a really nice cause!
not sure what to do with them but we put a restriction on our families for stuffed animals and dolls and they have been pretty cooperative.
I had the same problem with my daughter's stuff animals! I tried the nets that go in the corner of the room - but they'd fall out. I told everyone - DO NOT GET HER ANOTHER STUFFED ANIMAL! If you do - it stays at your house for when she visits! I think most people would rather spend their money on something the child will like, rather than something their mom is going to give away. I love the idea about donating them to shelters, police, etc.!!
We finally ended up putting up a shelf all around the top pof the playroom - & putting most of them up there - kind of as decorations. I do like the donating idea better though!
Looking at the ages of your youngest children - I think this might be the reason you have ended up with so many stuffed animals? A lot of people dont know what to buy for little ones when they are "that" little. All the really fun toys seem to be for ages 3 and up. So, I think this might problem might possibly fix itself. If you do want to mention something about it on your invitation, I would generalize it by just saying "No Toys Please!" I always make the joke that they multiply by themselves. People who have been parents will probably understand this and your kids will end up with lots of clothes instead. That is what usually happens at my house anyhow :0) Good luck!
Try checking with local fire and police departments. They give them to kids in need when the unspeakable happens. May also want to check with local kids hospital sometimes they will hand them out to the kids there to make thier stay a little better. I personaly send mine to our local shriners group they hand them out to the kids cancer treatment center near by. To me this is such a better way to thin the herd and a much better opption than good will. I hope this helps!!
V. ... there are so many children in foster care and in homeless shelters and shelters for battered women/children that would be forever grateful for your gently used stuffed animals. Even police stations will take some for their patrol cars for when they must go and retrieve a child from a home or even give to a child that is scared because an officer is there to take a parent away. It lets the children know that a police officer is a good person when they can give a scared child something soft to cuddle. For an added benefit, you would be able to use your generous gift as a tax credit for donations no matter what department/agency you gave them too.
God Blesses those that bless others :-)
I say its fine to say no plush animals in the invites, but prepared for questions why. In the end it might be more trouble than its worth. I think to avoid this I'd set up a registry at Toysrus or something like that, and include this information in the invites to cut down on stuffed animals.
You could put on the invits that you would like to have help with your babys devolpment by getting the baby some educational toys like music toys, books that are musical,multi useable toys like ones baby can honk-ride on- pull-twist ddials etc.
And please give baby colorful toys so babys eyes and brain will be stimulated.
And ask them if they would mind helping you donate toys to say the police so children of victims and accident victims can enjoy them as baby has.
You could have them each bring a new or clean used toy for this to much your toys donation.
Hay good way to clean out the closets of many house holds .
Give them to the fire department. They use them to comfort the kids on abulance rides or when their homes are destroyed. Then ask you family to give something that doesn't collect dustmites (savings bonds?). I have family that gives us teddies too and we usually take a bag into the fire department in Wausau atleast yearly.
If you are looking for a good place to get rid of a few check with your local fire department. My brother in-law is a firefighter and has said that they keep stuffed animals that people donate at the fire station. When they go out on a fire call where children are involved they give them one to comfort them and also when they lose all their toys at least they have something. That is at the Minneapolis Fire Dept so I am not real sure if they all do it or not. I just think it is a good idea! Hope this helps!
I have six boys and we have had many years where stuffed animals have ruled the house! (Now the real animals rule, 2 cats and a 85lb "lap dog".) I came to the point where I just couldn't store the "stuff" so I asked family to switch to books and Legos. Legos are great because they grow with the kid and there is no end of creative things they can do with them. Even my adult children will still sit and play with them if given the opportunity. Books are great because they are easy to store!
I have told family members that our kids have enough of something and ask if they would like suggestions for gifts. They are usually really good about that - I know I would want to spend my money on something that would get used and enjoyed, not piled up.
On birthday invites, I have seen some moms put "no gift necessary" to friends and neighbors. If you get lots of plush toys anyway, they can be returned to the store.
As far as what to do with the excess you have, you can donate them to a charity - maybe the children's hospital would even take them.
We had a ton of Beanie Babies and found out that the U.S. soldiers in Iraq were asking for them to hand out to the children of that country. They are small, unbreakable(travel well) and are offered to the kids to build their trust towards the soldiers. The website anysoldier.com is where you can find out where to send "care packages" overseas. Besides getting rid of our massive amount of Beanie Babies, we also sent the soldiers some goodies for themselves!
With cousins & friends gifts & hand-me-downs, we were overwhelmed with plush & other toys. I discussed our "needs" list with invitees (not on an invite) to thank them for even considering a gift & how helpful it would be to have more dress up clothes, summer items, books, music or whatever the hot issue was at the time. This seemed less greedy, straightforward & resulted in really useful gifts (and of course, some had to send toys). But as you talk about where your child is just now, your family will appreciated the opportunity to give a gift that will get used. Sometimes they even get them back (we cycle a lot of hand-me-downs). Personally, I love to have my niece send back an item she has outgrown that I picked out.
My son's birthday is in early January, and we find that we are always overwhelmed with toys from Christmas and then his birthday. What we have done (to kindly discourage things we don't need) is to put Gift Ideas and Suggestions on the bottom. That way we can list things that he really needs, and hopefully that will encourage people to buy those items instead of a bunch of stuffed animals and toys that he really doesn't need. We have had great feedback too! A lot of aunts and people have said "We had NO idea what to get him!"
Hi Valerie- I think it is perfectly fine to ask kindly for no more plush toys. I'm sure you could come up with a humorous way to do it that won't seem like you are ungrateful, which you cleary are not. I totally understand your dilemma! I live in a small home with my 2 year old and her toys alone now occupy nearly one quarter of the living space....yikes....sometimes I feel like there's no more room for the two of us! A. B
I don't know if you can ask for no plush toys, but to rid your hosue of the ones you have, you can donate them to an animal shelter. The animals LOVE the plush toys (with stuffing, not beads) to play with. And, since it's a donation, you can claim it on your taxes next year. And, it feels good in your heart.
NO don't be blunt about it be sneaky! Take a photo of your birthday girl in the mountain of stuffed animals with just her head peeking out. Make it even bigger if you can to really enfasize that she has MORE than enough to deal with. Use that photo as your invite to invite guests to the birthday party. They probably don't even realize how many she has actually accumulated and should take the hint (hopefully). :)
I think it is wrong to say don't get stuffed animals, but there is nothing wrong with giving some suggestions of things she might like. Ask for educational toys or clothes.
We have too many too, but I have stopped receiving them as gifts. I have the ones that don't go w/ the theme of the bedroom in the toybox or in the playroom and I have the others in the bedroom to play with and to serve as decor. Some people put up those corner nets to hold stuffed animals or you could put shelves up as a border of the ceiling and line them with the teddys or what ever you have most of and goes with your theme. I have a jungle theme so a wide variety of animals are in the room as decoration.
Wanna weed out some of those toys, Try twincitiesfreemarket.org to put them up for someone to grab them up. Or wash the ones you can really well just for safty precautions and donate them to a womens/childrens shelter or to the county childrens services. Even the goodwill or Salvation army. My girls have the same problem but we found a solution the previous yrs stuffed animals that dont get played with get donated. We filter the old for the new every 6 months and only keep the ones they really love the most. Its cut the clutter down quite a bit. But theres still to many toys..lol
V.; awww, i m a big stuffed animal fan , as a mom of 3 boys, i still have my stuffed animals from when i was a kid, and i have theirs, i would pack some away, and see if they miss them, if they do they could be attached to some, keep those , but after a while, bring them out again, if still attached, keep them, if not, give them to good will, or buy some netting and store them in their room, i had created a shelf up by the ceiling, it made good room decoration, and when they wanted one down i would let them get it, but this way they see their freinds, and know they have the freind that got them through some special moment, but i would first test to see if they are important to them, pack some away , and then you can pull them out , and switch them out, just enjoy life, and buy some extra shelving, even if it goes all around the room, it will be cute, and they have them, enjoy, D. s
We have tons of stuffed animals also. We bought one of those mesh nets and put it up in the corner of the room. It's gteat because it is up out of the way, doesn't take up any room and I can reach them if my son wants one.
You probably have seen these at Toys R Us.
I know what you mean - I hate those things! You could get a "stuffed animal hammock" for the ones you have. It hoists them up in the corner of your kid's room, so they don't take up room space.
I don't see anything wrong with saying "No plush toys" or "No stuffed animals" on the invitations. Maybe you could say it in a cute/funny way that would make people both laugh & understand, like "The stuffed animals have taken over our house!" or something like that. Good luck!
With seven children we always have too many toys around. I quietly slip a few out of the pile at each birthday, holiday, etc. especially the ones I know are similar to something we already have, are duplicates or are things the kids will probably discard after a short time. I donate these to Toys for Tots each year, send some to Operation Christmas Child and regift them (just note where they came from so they don't make their way back to the original giver!). As the kids get older they are more likely to notice some things are missing, but then we just discuss how fortunate we are and how well loved we are by all the relatives that send stuff, then they willingly give up quite a bit. We regularly go through all our toys, thin the pile (we live in a small house) and donate to our church nursery, and benevolent organizations like Courage Center and Vietnam Veterans, who will come and p/u discards at your doorstep.
SAHM of seven
Have you tried donating them to a childrens Hospital or Orphanage?
Here's an idea! My dad wins stuffed toys from those crank machines all the time, and when he gets a bagfull, he donates them to the police department. Then the cops give them to little kids when they have to go to their homes for a tough domestic situation. It is a nice way for the little ones to be reassured in difficult times, and helps them to understand that the Police are there to help.
I agree that you excess stuffed animals be donated to hospitals, shelters, or the police station. Many children will love to have them, especially in a difficult situation.
But in regards to the birthday party, it is terribly rude to ask guests not to bring a specific gift. If you want, ask for no gifts at all and instead make a donation to a local charity in honor of your child. Or, try to return the toys and exchange for something else. But, in the end, a gift is chosen by the gift giver, and they have the right to give whatever they choose, it is not up to you. That is part of life. If you don't like the gift, you should still be thankful. That is what gift giving is all about.
I really like the idea another poster had about having each child bring a small gift and just doing a gift exchange amongst the guests. This way, everyone ends up with something special to take home. You could play a song and pass the gifts around in a circle, and when the music stops, you get to open that gift, or something similar.
You could donate some of the old ones that don't get played with anymore. Lots of places welcome things like that...hospitals, ambulances, police depts, shelters, etc.
As far as the birthday coming up...what if you put a note in the invites letting people know what she wants for her birthday? I wouldn't outright say "no stuffed animals please", but would consider including what she wants for her birthday (i.e., books, whatever toys she's in to, clothes, etc).
Just a few thoughts for you. Hope they help.
Box them up and go to your nearest nursing home. They love to win them when they play bingo, or any other games. Some homes run short on gifts, (beaded necklaces also) give the gift of love to an elderly one.:) B.
you have every right to say no more but so as not to step on any toes and cause possible hurt feelings giving a list of things that would be "appreciated" alone or with "no more" would probably be better
Hi V., one thing you could indicate on the invite is that plush toys can be donated in your daughters name to the local hospital/shelter. That way, you are not telling people 'dont bring X Y Z toy' but are letting them know in a gentle way that she is 'stuffed' with plush toys. And if people do bring the plush toys to the party, unless it is a special gift (such as a personalized Build-A-Bear) you don't have to feel guilty donating it yourself after the affair.