The #1 Resource & Support Network for Parents of Twins

The #1 Resource & Support Network for Parents of Twins

Gifts That Make The Naughty List This Holiday Season

Gifts That Make The Naughty List This Holiday Season

naughty lit messy living room

Last updated on August 18th, 2023 at 10:45 am

With the holidays approaching, are you shopping for someone else’s kids? Check out this list of toys moms put on their naughty list and label as off-limits.

Every parent has an “off-limits” gift item. That somehow seems to inevitably, and very sneakily, show up in our household without our permission. Sometimes, it is the lavish grandparent who generously bends to every whim of our children’s begging in the stores.  Sometimes, it is the aunts and uncles claiming “paybacks” for toys and gifts you bought nieces and nephews because they were not your children.  They might be birthday presents given in true good spirits, or the little prizes kids choose at school or the doctor for good behavior.  Whatever their origin, they are a nuisance, all the same, landing them a permanent spot on the toy naughty list.

Looking for some great gifts for kids this holiday season? Check out our toys list here!

naughty list toddler boys playing with packing peanuts and bags

It all comes back to the naughty list

As I sat down to write this article, I surveyed the cluttered and colorful floor around me.  I chalk it up to having twin toddlers and living during a global pandemic.  The reality is my house has never been featured in a Pinterest forum. It certainly is not out of a “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine.  The stacking blocks, board books, plastic play food, diecast cars, pillows, blankets, balls of all sizes and colors, sippy cups, and fruit snack wrappers seem to be a permanent part of the aesthetic of my home.

Looking at it makes me exhausted.  I used to try to keep things organized in bins, boxes, buckets, and other mess control mechanisms. Every time the kids went down for a nap or to sleep for the night, I would pick up all the toys and put them back where they belonged.  I started to question myself, “Why is it so difficult to keep the house picked up and looking nice?”

I had an epiphany that many of these constant messes can be tied back to the “naughty list” toys that have infested my house over time.  Sometimes by my own stupidity, and sometimes by the generous donations of others. 

naughty list toddler boys painting and one licking a paint brush

Avoid these naughty list toys at all costs

Regardless, I have found there are some common culprits that consistently make my “Naughty List…”  So if you’d like to do some intentional sabotaging, keep this list handy… If you would rather make life a little easier for the mom(s) you know and love, avoid these awful creations at all costs.


I do not even need to elaborate on this one.  It is contraband in my household.  My furniture, carpets, and pets thank you in advance for your corporation.  In the event that you are the coolest parent ever, and allow slime in your household, my suggestion is to use a “puppy pad” underneath your impending mess.  If you’re lucky, you might be able to fold up the mess and throw it away with one easy swipe. 

Twiniversity email subscription signup

Want to be the first to know about giveaways, deals, and more just for twin parents? Sign up for the Twiniversity email list! Subscribe today to get emails about giveaways, events, weekly article roundups, and more! Pregnant with twins? We’ll be sending you a weekly twin pregnancy email to keep you on track with your pregnancy to-do list! Click here to learn more… and while you’re at it, check out our Complete Baby Safety Course and Twin Parent Memberships.

Flash Cards

While well-intentioned and certainly educational, flashcards seemingly come in packs of 427 cards that get scattered about the house in every hidden crevice.  Under couch cushions, in the car, under the kitchen cabinets, on the deck, in laundry baskets, and everywhere else grabby little hands can carry them.  Not to mention, I hate playing 427-card pick-up 13 times a day.  We might play with them a total of 3 times before I lose my mind and throw them all away.  Sorry kids, you will be slow learners I suppose because this one won’t make it off the naughty list for me!

Musical Toys without an On/Off switch

What kind of a monster designs these? Then, what board of mindless corporate executives approves them? Certainly, people who have no children of their own.  Listening to the song, “Baby Shark” on repeat 67 times an hour is nearly a torture tactic.  I am sure the military could institute something similar to get their enemies to divulge info!  I have often wondered what the magical draw of the “Baby Shark” song is?  If we played it backward, is there some satanic message that would reveal itself?  Why are children so drawn to and obsessed with it? 

Looking to cut down on clutter? Check out these toys that twins can share!

naughty list 2 boys playing with sand in a turtle sand box

Sand Boxes

There, I said it.  I know it is a controversial opinion, and my mother keeps telling me, “…you just need to get over it,” but I cannot stand sand! It might not make everyone’s naughty list, but it’s on mine and it’s staying there. This was one of those “well-intentioned grandparent gifts” that the twins would love.  The twins sure do love sand, they love it so much they throw it like confetti at a wedding every time they get their hands in it. 

Do you know how hard it is to get sand out of a toddler’s scalp?  Next to impossible.  Do you know how much effort it takes to bathe toddler twins?  I would venture to guess I burn as many calories bathing the twins as I would if I ran a half marathon (maybe a slight exaggeration.)  I am always a sweaty, out-of-breath mess when I get done wrestling their splashing, naked little bodies out of the bathtub and into their clean diapers and clothes and it all relates back to the dreaded sand. 

Toys that do not fit back into the box they came in

If you are going to assemble a giant dollhouse, you do not expect to need the box again.  Cool, I get it – that makes sense.  If you’re simply getting the pieces of a board game out of a box, and it is like solving an IQ puzzle just to fit them back into their exact slots so the box closes again, I am not ok with this!  I should not need an engineering degree to return playing pieces to a box.  I also do not like having to find another NEW container, to put the game into even though it was pre-packaged in a perfectly acceptable way and now suddenly it will not fit! 

Wooden Puzzles without magnets

The twins have a spectacular time dumping all 26 letters of the alphabet onto the floor, and absolutely zero interest in putting a single letter back in its corresponding cutout space.  Therefore, I am constantly playing hide and seek with 26 small, colorful, wooden letters.  Without a magnet holding it in place, storage is a nightmare and this puzzle lies in wait to be dumped, bumped or spilled once again.

naughty list a bunch of building blocks in a pile

Building Blocks

Not only do they scatter easily; they are a real PAIN to step on.  No matter how many times you pick up and clean up, you will always miss at least one or two of these naughty list items. They then lurk under your couches and chairs to be found by your feet in the most painful way. You will also likely acquire varying brands that get thrown together and the GENERIC and NAME BRAND building blocks do not even fit together.  Who wants to spend hours sorting tiny building blocks? 

Bathtub Paints and Crayons

The dyes in these products promise to be “mess-free,” “non-toxic,” and “easy clean-up.”  Any parent knows, just like political promises, these are all false claims.  Color on the walls, color staining your bathtub, color on towels, color in the hair, color on the shower curtain, skin discoloration, and more.  What seems to be a fun way to keep kids creative and entertained, promises a headache followed by a stiff drink for parents everywhere. 

Do your kids already have too many toys? See what our fans have to say about asking for toys as gifts.

naughty list a grandma and grandpa handing out toys to 3 young children outside at a park

Whatever the occasion you’re buying for – be it a birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, or a thoughtful surprise for a child you love, please reference this list and read my plea to help moms and dads everywhere maintain some semblance of sanity. 

The gifts on my naughty list are a compilation of mess-inducing, stress-inducing, chaos instigators and I am confident the moms and dads in your life will thank you for avoiding these gifts that make the “naughty list.” 

Twiniversity memberships

Need some twin parent friends? Get the support you need with a Twiniversity Membership. Benefits include a monthly twin parent club meeting on Zoom, access to a private Facebook group just for twin parents, and a video library of twin parenting lessons. Visit to join today!


Subscribe to Our Mailing List

/ /

Staying Informed

Recent Posts