Gifts to Make Parents Groan (But the Kids Love Them)

Gifts to Make Parents Groan (But the Kids Love Them)

I proudly present my top ten gifts guaranteed to make you groan. The list isn’t extensive  – I’m sure you have a few horror stories to add…

1. Moonsand / Kinetic Sand

Moon Sand

Kids love it, parents don’t. Moonsand will clog up your hoover, get into the cracks in your floorboards and just generally go everywhere. My kids had a “building” set which had enough sand to build precisely six bricks. That isn’t even a wall. The rest of it was on the floor, where it still remains, probably, wedged into the cracks in the floorboards.

Buy some cloggy Moon Sand

2. Electric guitars or loud bleepy toys of any description


These are more expensive than some toys but don’t be fooled by the price tag. The people who buy you these gifts do not like you. They want you to be tortured at 6am by repetitive screeching sounds more aggravating than those emitted by your offspring. Take the batteries out. Oh dear, it’s broken…

Get yourself a bleepy guitar

3. Hama beads

Hama Beads

Annoying bits of plastic which are used to make pointless mats  – which you must then iron, for God’s sake, to stop them falling apart and going everywhere. Kids love them, for about five seconds. More fun is to be had playing with the cardboard box they come in.

Buy your annoying Hama Beads

4. Furby

Imagine that nasty Chucky doll from the horror movie  – well, meet Furby! This furry monstrosity will wake up early with your little darlings but he won’t go to bed, ever. Don’t keep him in their room, for he will shriek and squeak at their slightest movement. I kept mine in the dining room until the little swine caught me raiding the fridge one night and nearly woke the neighbourhood. If – like my kids – yours lose interest and forget to “feed” Furby, he will turn mean, making angry gurgling noises. And there is no off switch. Short of pulling his insides out with a flathead screwdriver, I waited until Easter and took him to the charity shop. The woman serving me nearly wept with gratitude. I walked off laughing.

Furby Connect

Buy this furry monstrosity

5. Action man-type dolls

Their shoes don’t fit, you can’t get them to “grip” the gun and don’t even try to get them into their scuba outfit. Your little one will be sorely disappointed and you will have a nervous breakdown.

Action toys

Get your hands on a fiddly action figure

6. Playmobil castle set

It’s a castle! It is massive! You have to build it on their birthday or on Christmas Day ( with a hangover, be honest) and there are LOADS of fiddly bits. The money gets lost, the swords drop down the back of the sofa. I survived, just, but would rather kill the Christmas turkey with my bare hands than face this again.

playmobil castle

Buy your castle to build on Christmas Day!

7. Marble run

Yayy! Marbles! Let’s hope the kids don’t swallow one or stick one up their nose. But that is just a silly worry, because they are big enough to play with… No! Stop! Spit that out! Anyway, back to building the run. Bloody nightmare. Just don’t go there.

Go get your marble run

8. Joke sets

Did you ever find a plastic turd funny? No? Me neither and that was in 1980. Well, guess what? The old jokes are still the best…

Buy a funny plastic turd

9. Dressing up

Good old fashioned dressing up, they love it so. Yes, they love it so much they want to wear it all day, every day, never take it off, never put it in the wash and never go outside with their coat on, even in mid-winter. Great. Two weeks off school with the flu.

Kids Costumes

Turn your little ones into Ninja Turtles, Princesses and Nemo! 

10. Nerf guns

Oh, Nerf guns are so much fun. I have a complete arsenal in my house, rocket launcher, machine gun, pistols, bazookas… and the kids never tire of them. The bullets hurt, especially when the kids shoot each other in the face ( they will, trust me) and the bullets get EVERYWHERE. The other rule of Nerf is that children must shoot with gay abandon, parents must pick up the little fiddly bullets. For the rest of their lives.


Get your Nerf rocket launcher

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About Beezy

Beezy Marsh is an author and journalist and her debut novel Mr Make Believe is out now, published by Ipso Books.  You can find more articles and book news on her website

The Motherload® Ltd participates in various affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links. This revenue goes towards keeping this site active.

Beezy Marsh

Beezy Marsh is a mum-of-two, chief laundry washer and Lego-picker upper, who also writes books.

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