Saying No to Toy Gifts

How to Say No to a Toy Gift Politely

How to Say No to a Toy Gift Politely

3 ways to say no nicely to toy gifts

Let’s face it, we all love a celebration. We enjoy getting together with family and friends for holidays, birthdays and personal occasions. With celebrations, however, gifts are naturally a part of the equation and before you know it your kids have accumulated more toys than you could have imagined. 

Not to mention, once the awe of a new toy wears off that gift becomes clutter which takes up space in your home. Therefore, don’t wait until your toy pile suddenly becomes a mountain, with barely half getting played with. Instead, learn how to say no to a toy gift politely. 

Saying “no” is usually easier said than done. You worry about hurting feelings, coming off wrong when explaining, or you simply struggle with telling people “no” in general. That’s why we’re here! Keep reading for 3 ways you can say “no” to toy gift giving without the stress or fear!

Send a letter to politely say no to toy gifts

It can be awkward to tell your friends and family “no” in the moment. To prevent this, take the time and write out a letter before your event. But don’t worry, we have completed this for you! Use our exact “no gifts please” wording for your letter in our example below.

"Dear Family, 

Thank you so much for wanting to give us gifts for this occasion! We truly appreciate the thought and effort you put into your gift we would love to accept, but we already have too many toys! Instead, we would love for you to think of an experience to give us rather than a toy that will take up space. Memories will last us a lifetime and we will cherish them just as much (if not more!) than the toy you are wanting to give. We look forward to celebrating with you!

With love, 

(Insert your name)"

By sending a letter, you are able to tell your loved ones that you do not want gifts without the potentially awkward face to face conversation. You can also include this message as a note inside the invite which you’d already be sending anyway. If this is what you prefer, skip the conversation and write a letter!  

saying no to gifts tip

Tell them no to a gift politely in person

Another option is to simply tell your loved ones that you are saying no to gift giving. If they ask why, here are a few reasons you can give:

  • We already have so much!
  • We want to focus on experiences over material objects! 
  • It’s better for the environment! 
  • We want to live a more minimal lifestyle! 
  • Our kids already love the toys they have! 

These explanations will satisfy the curiosity of your friends and family. It is also important to note that Grandparents have a tendency to over-gift. You can read more about why that is and how to handle it here.  

Now if you don’t want to offer an explanation, that’s up to you! Don’t feel any pressure that you need to explain yourself, but if you do, you can use our suggestions above. 

Provide Alternatives to No Toy Gifts

Saying no to gift giving completely may not satisfy your friends and family especially if your child is your first or the first grandchild. Even if you said no to gifts politely, you probably will end up with some gifts here and there. In order, to ensure you don’t end up with the mountain of toys, providing alternatives to no toy gifts will satisfy everyone! 

Here are 3 creative ideas for non toy gifts: 

alternatives to no toy gifts

1. Encourage the start of a college fund

If there’s one thing anyone understands, it’s the expensive cost of living and future expenses like college! Especially when kids are young, the toys they receive often go underappreciated and most likely sit unused, taking up space that could be used for other, more productive things. 

For early birthdays, ask for money! It’s an easy fix in replacing toys and will be useful in the future whether your child decides to go to college or needs to make an “adult” purchase such as a car. It’s a simple and effective fix to your toy dilemma. And trust us, your kids will be grateful as well!

2. Donate toys to children in need

No matter the season, there are always, unfortunately, kids in need of toys. If your loved ones really want to purchase a toy, ask them to donate it to your local shelter or toy drop off. This way, they can have the fun of picking out a toy without it taking up space in your house! 

3. Ask for donations for a cause you care about

An awesome way to avoid gifts is to ask for donations to a charity of your choosing! Find a charity or cause that speaks to you, whether it be for your local food bank or a national organization. 

For example, if you’re having a pet themed party, ask for donations to your local pet shelter! Whatever it is, make it something you care about. 

When sending out invitations write:

“Instead of gifts, we are asking for donations (insert charity/organization) in our name. We appreciate your kindness!”

Your guests can feel good about making a charitable donation and you can sleep soundly knowing gifts will not be showing up at your party. 

Still not sure how to say no to toys?

If you or your loved ones are wanting more resources or alternatives to physical gifts send them our way! Visit our Play & Learn Blog or check out this gift giving guide for Grandparents. 

We want you to feel as supported as possible, so check out our site for all the great resources available for you and your family! 


We know how hard saying “no” can be, but hopefully after reading this you’ll have the resources you need to make say no to toy gifts a bit easier! Just remember, your friends and family love you and want the best for you so telling them no doesn’t have to be a scary task. You can find more ideas for practical gifts here!

If you try out any of the above solutions, comment below and let us know how it went! 

how to say no to a toy gift

Related Articles

3 ways to say no nicely to toy gifts

Leave a comment

* Required fields

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.