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Plastic Toy Nightmare

With Coen's 1st birthday quickly approaching, I've begun to have a lot of worry about our house becoming a plastic toy nightmare (as my friend Lauren refers to child's toys/house).  I've watched some of our friends houses be invaded with plastic toys and I fear that it's about to happen to us, without even realizing.

My only (possibly) solution to fixing this problem...
  1. Request gift cards to a specific store to create a larger project for Coen.  Our friends did this to build their son a play set.  I thought at the time that it was sort of a weird request, because he was only one, but then when it was built and he was older, it was perfect.  And for the most part, everyone followed in suit. For us, this scenario won't work because we don't want a play set in our backyard.  We have plenty of parks around to make use of their swing sets.  But I like the idea of having a main goal.
  2. My other option is to say nothing and just let people bring whatever they'd like.  Then it would be my goal to hide most of the gifts right out of the gate and only swap them out every once in a while to bring to life a "new toy" and put away one that has been out for a while.
  3. The last option is to say no gifts, but...... I think it sounds rude or maybe too direct.  People are givers and I'd hate to shut them down by saying no.
What are your thoughts?  What have you done for a first birthday party?  Do you just let it be a free for all and let the gifts overpower your house?  The thought of this sort of freaks me out. Help?


the grumbles said…
We just swap toys out from the basement storage area. I only keep a handful "out" at a time. He could not care less and it keeps the clutter down.
We rotate toys.

We have two large rubbermaid bins holding "saved" toys at any given time. I'll empty one out, then load it up with others and hide it away for a while. It works PERFECTLY. If at any time we have MORE than two bins worth of "saved" toys - then that's too much and I purge.

Why does this work? The girls are excited to see their new-to-them-again toys and it's the perfect opportunity for me to get rid of/give away any toys that I don't want them to have any longer. And, two rubbermaid bins don't take up THAT much space, so it's not that annoying. (I keep them in their closets.)

If it were me, I'd let family/friends bring whatever they're inclined to bring and rotate them out. :)
Allison said…
I call it Plastic Hell. And I tried to thwart it and it didn't really work. We still have a bunch of it and, unfortunately, no where to hide it (until recently--we redid things in our basement that helped out a lot). I threatened my ILs so they wouldn't buy a bunch of big plastic stuff and it sort of worked, but apparently I didn't send the same memo to my own parents. ~sigh~

But it could be worse. These people love you and your child and just want to give him things. This is the thing I keep trying to repeat to myself so I don't forget it--it doesn't work most of the time when I'm seeing all the toys everywhere in my house.

So no, I don't have a solution...just wanted to say that you aren't alone! Maybe if you came up with a list of gift ideas to have on hand when people ask you can provide that. We were able to get a bunch of books for E's 1st birthday because we themed the party that way and didn't end up with a ton of plastic stuff until that Christmas.
We are starting to get a lot of toys as well. It is crazy! Of course even with all these toys he still wants the DVD's that are out or the remotes. Silly child.

A friend told me that they do what the others already mentioned and I think it is a fantastic idea. After a birthday and the presents are opened they pick out a few toys and the rest go in a bin. Every few months they switch toys. At the end of the year, before the next birthday they donate some of the toys to different organizations.

I really like this idea.

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