The next time you see a potential gift read the box. This part of the gift is a wealth of information giving many specifics about the gift. Important things such as the appropriate age range of the children playing with the gift, the size of the gift and the quantity of pieces within the gift.
Let me offer an example.
The kitchen food set with 8000 pieces will find itself all over the house. The plastic hot dogs will be chewed on in church filling with saliva which will subsequently be spilled the following day on said child's mother. Stale spit falls in the gross category and explains why the box is marked 5+. In addition, the miniaturized, semi-realistic cardboard boxes masquerading as food packaging cannot withstand the rigors of life strung about our living room, bedrooms, kitchen, and playroom.
In addition to reading the box, look inside. Are there a number of small parts, parts that will be unmanageable for little child fingers and will require near constant adult assistance? I am not saying that I do not want to assist my child in learning and playing, but during bill-paying and checkbook balancing, will this toy have captured the child's attention to the point of obsession thereby requiring child's mother to continually stop to help child amid pleas couched in, "Mommy, you know, I love you. Will you. . .?"
I will provide another example.
The dolls with removable clothing will have to share outfits. A three year old (little less than 37 months to be exact) cannot
- remove the clothing and shoes,
- dress the now naked dolls, and/or
- keep dolls in the same condition for more than 2.5 seconds before finding a reason for a change.
The box will say said dolls are appropriate for 3+ years old. The box lies. It is a marketing ploy designed for only one thing--the total breakdown of the parental mind as said child asks parents continuously throughout the day to change shirt, pants, shoes or dresses. The miniature nature of the clothing further maddens the parent as they fumble with tiny bodies, hands and clothing.
Most especially, to those laughing your way through the checkout line with visions of parental insanity as a result of your gift choice, remember that Abigail is the first and we will have hand-me-downs of whatever you bring to our house. And the day will come when we will chose gifts for your child. Can I say 11569 pieces of fake food and doll clothing littering your house!
The Mother who fished fake hot dog dripping drool out of child's mouth and changed clothes on dolls 789 times between 2:00 and 4:33PM.