Toy Guns and Barbies: Risky Birthday Gifts

kids sword fighting on beach

Photo by Kiter

I never know what types of toys will offend or bother other moms, so I've crossed certain ones off the list entirely when shopping for birthday gifts, which I'll be doing this weekend since my son and daughter each have yet another one coming up in two weeks.

While shopping for a gift for the last birthday, a 5 year old boy, my daughter picked out a Star Wars Light Saber at Target. I nixed it because I got the vibe that the mom probably has an objection to toy guns, and some people might see a light saber as a big horrible weapon of death. I respect that opinion, though I'm so not that mom.

Neither is the mom of one of my son's friends. For his party, she handed all the boys a Nerf gun, sent them into the backyard for an hour, and let them go at it. The Nerf gun and a supply of foam bullets was their "goody bag" present. My son said it was the best party he's ever been to.

My son's room looks like an arsenal, with a whole shelf devoted to choice of light sabers, swords and Nerf guns. I've grown accustomed to being sliced, prodded and shot at on a daily basis.

Another thing many moms don't like are Barbies and Bratz dolls, more heavily the latter. You know, it's the whole oversexualizing women, turning little girls into sluts thing. One mom in The Cafe said her own sister told her she was "disappointed" that she bought her daughter a Barbie as a gift.

Another mom said a friend of hers doesn't let her daughter play with baby dolls because it encourages girls to become a mother at a young age. I understand about sluts, but someone please tell me what is wrong with young moms?

I don't think there's any gift that I wouldn't like my kids to receive, except maybe Legos. I hate Legos. I'll know I'll still be vacuuming up all those little pieces when they are in college.

Are there any banned birthday gifts on your list? Anything you find morally, ethically or otherwise wrong to give your child?

Related posts:

Black Barbie Is Not Black Enough

Dangerous Toys You Should Never Buy



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toria... toriandgrace

I hate Bratz dolls. However, if my daughter got one, we'd say thank you and it'd go in the toy box.

I love nerf guns and squirt guns, but I am not a fan of guns that look like guns.. I have a daughter, so that hasn't come up yet. I absolutely LOVE the nerf gun as a party favor idea.

Gsmac... GsmackMom

I never liked play-doh too messy!  I haven't banned anything though, whatever they get is fine, if they don't like it they don't have to play with it.  My sons are 11-14 now so they get mostly gaming stuff.

Cafe... Cafe Jenn

I don't have a list of nixed items that we receive or give but I'd probably shy away from giving guns as a gift too.

I'm not a fan of bratz and would never intentionally give one as a gift but I love Barbies.  I grew up with Barbies and I never thought I had to be skinny because I played with them.  Nor did I think to be a young mom because I played with a baby either. 

I've taught my sons they should be thankful for whatever they receive.  They don't have to play with it and we can yard sale it or donate it but they must say thanks and not be rude.

karal... karalynsunshine

it is tough to figure out what kids do want for birthdays,etc..

I usually ask and then say..we'll see..but that doesn't always work. Find what works for you.


baby1... baby1love


Everything else is fine ! 

I can't see what's wrong with Barbies ???? She is stylish and covered and nver looks slutty .

TBKSu... TBKSuperMama

My kids are 3 and 5 and we go to a lot of birthday parties. I always say thank you and have my children do the same no matter what gift they recieve for their gifts even if it isnt something I might choose.
I usually just buy up gifts and keep them on hand for birthday parties that are neutral. Coloring books, flash cards, crayons, bubble bath, books, stuff like that. I dont think many people object to thoe gifts

frysh... fryshannon34

I dont see anything wrong with Barbies but I would never buy a toy gun or weapon of any kind for someone elses child or for my own

Stacy119 Stacy119

I let my son express his masculine energies provided he does so in a manner that infringes not on the safety and happiness of those around him. I resent Barbie as a role model, but there's no getting away from her, is there, in this society. This coming from a woman who is the same body-type as Barbie.  I am sick of being a target because of irresponsible lesbian media management telling us what body type to single out, resent, exclude, exploit, bitterly harass, younameit because these "feminists" want access to sex-slaves of a particular body-type, or else feel there is no alternate method of competition with women of stature.

Barbie and Ken are singularly responsible for programming three generations of porn and plastic surgery addicts, and I deeply resent these dolls as a woman who is sick and tired of being stereotyped by ignorant, bigoted, misogynist "feminists" who would sooner put us in a grave than allow valid entry into the work force!

RanaA... RanaAurora

Stacy, I used to dislike you.

Now I love you.  Your rants are so insane they always make me smile and laugh!

Stacy119 Stacy119

RanaAurora, I am not ranting, and I am anything but "insane".  Wake up and smell the coffee!

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