Avoiding Temptation in the Target Toy Aisle


This weekend, I got a glimpse into our future with children, and it was pretty scary. Ryan and I stopped by Target to pick up a birthday present for our nephew, Chase.

The only time I ever travel to the toy section of any store is to buy gifts, and quite frankly, I’ve always found it extremely overwhelming. Rows and rows of career-minded Barbies, assorted monster trucksβ€”in all shapes and sizesβ€”, and whole sections devoted to various heroes from Marvel comics is enough to make anyone’s head spin.

Just as my mind began swirling, and I was ready to go into my speech about why I think kids are overstimulated with too many toys, I heard these words spring excitedly from Ryan’s mouth, “A marshmallow gun! Cool!”

I picked my jaw up from the floor as he proceeded down the aisle, picking up every Nerf gun, football, disc launcher, etc. and trying to convince me how much Chase (1) or our niece, Maya (3), would love to play with them. Since neither Maya, nor Chase would be strong enough to pull the trigger on any of those toys, I quickly realized he meant Uncle Ryan would love to play with them. I’m afraid if I hadn’t been there to point out the age minimum on each of the toys he picked up, we would have returned to Ryan’s parents house and taught the kids how to reenact a scene from Die Hard.

Since finding out we were having a baby, I’ve been worried that it would be hard for me to restrain myself from buying cute baby stuff and toys (as evidenced by my one and only trip to Babies ‘R Us in which I discovered it was best for me not to go back, lest I give in and buy that adorable, but pricey Baby Lion King crib set when I already have a perfectly good hand-me-down set). So far, I’ve avoided temptation and feel pretty certain I’ll be content with all the wonderful clothes, toys, and baby items Ryan’s sister has passed along to us.

I had no idea that it would be Ryan who would be overcome by fancy packaging with neon letters and promises of shooting distance.

We finally found an appropriately-sized monster truck, neon green of course, for Chase, and escaped the toy aisle with that single purchase. We also learned a very important lesson…at least I did, and that is that Daddy will not be allowed in the toy aisle with our child/children without Mama’s supervision, especially after he shared his dream of Maya, Chase, and our future children having Nerf wars inside the house!Β 

We’d all better start praying now that this first child is a boy!

What about you parents out there? Who had more trouble resisting the temptation of cool toys for the kids, you or your spouse? How did you deal with it?

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16 thoughts on “Avoiding Temptation in the Target Toy Aisle

  1. Jenna says:

    Well I will say that with Jordan, he is pretty much ok with going through the toy aisle and not getting anything. I just explain to him before we go in that we are not there to buy every toy in the store for him to play with. You may need to explain that to Ryan before you guys go into Toys R Us. LOL.However, nerf gun wars are a blast when all 3 of us have our own gun! Sometimes we even have target practice on the window. Kids are the best thing since sliced bread! I think they help us remember how fun it is to be young, but Christmas is the absolute WORST! As a parent it is really difficult to not go crazy with all the cool toys that come out that time of year. We just have to set aside an allowance just for Christmas and stick to it.Little Johnny will not die if he doesn’t get that new zombie killing video game that all his friends have. Just do what Michael does, tell the kid that everything in his room doesn’t belong to him we just let him borrow it. LOL. Good luck and you two are going to be AWESOME parents! πŸ™‚

    • Allison says:

      Yeah, I think I’ll have to have “the talk” with Ryan before we hit the toy aisle again. Lol I like Michael’s philosophy…I think we’ll tell our kids the same thing. πŸ™‚

  2. Alycia Johnson Morales says:

    I join in the chuckles. My husband dreads the toy aisle, actually. But take him to the hunting/fishing section, and he’d buy out the store if we had enough cash. Alas, the kids eat most of our funds lately. Literally.
    I noticed you wrote that you feel kids are overstimulated with too many toys… I have to warn you, it’s not the toys they’re overstimulated with. I wish mine would play with the Legos and Nerf Guns more, using their creative minds. It’s the video games and television that overstimulates them. For sure. If Caleb plays video games for more than an hour a day, he becomes wild child who runs through screaming and antagonizing. If he plays Legos for an afternoon, he is content as can be. And he’s ten! Beware the electronics, my friend. Those are the overstimulation machines. Note: I don’t let mine sit and play video games or watch TV all day. They do enjoy other activities, too. Enjoy the Tonka trucks or Barbie dolls. πŸ˜‰
    You’ve given me a great idea for some blog posts, too! Thanks!

    • Allison says:

      Alycia,

      Thanks for the advice about tv and video games. I already have a strong anti-both-of-those stance, so there will be no video games in our house. I love TV, so I might be more willing to re-negotiate that when they’re older, but I’ll definitely know what they’re watching. πŸ™‚

  3. greenishmonkeys says:

    We both do decently with avoiding toy temptation, but other family members… less so. πŸ˜‰ We only get toys for birthdays/Christmas, and we usually have a plan ahead of time. books and funky craft supplies, though, are my big kid-spending temptations.

  4. CPowers says:

    Having 4 nephews, our son has massive amounts of toys/clothes. We have stored many away and will bring them out at a future time when he gets bored of the ones he has out now. So far with this new baby, I’ve only bought a few dresses. I figure it will be a while before she’s interested in any toy but when she gets to that point she’ ll have plenty of trains and cars to play with : )

    • Allison says:

      Courtney, that’s a great idea to keep back some toys for later instead of giving them all the toys at once. The hidden toys are still new to them and you don’t have to constantly buy them new toys. πŸ™‚

  5. csgbaker says:

    Both Brian and myself have proven to be dangerous in the toy aisles. We love the retro Fisher Price toys (especially now with the granddaughter!) I have a feeling Ryan will enjoy neon monster trucks or blazing pink tea sets. What great parents you’ll be!

  6. Tim Knopp says:

    My biggest worry is managing the toys we get from relatives. As we speak, there are 10 toys sitting in my living room floor, and Claire is only three and a half months. (FYI I used to have NERF wars in my friend’s basement, so if Ryan ever buys some guns you know who he can call.)

    • Allison says:

      I have the same worry, Tim. People live to buy your kid lots of toys b/c they don’t have to trip over them in their living room all the time. πŸ™‚ don’t know how you prevent that.

      If you and Ryan have Nerf wars, y’all can do it at your house. πŸ™‚

  7. Abby says:

    Haha. That is totally normal of Ryan! πŸ˜‰ Arnold looks forward to us shopping JUST for the toy aisle! Him and Caleb could stay there all day looking. It brings out the little kid in him again. And you should see holidays… I don’t know how is more excited πŸ˜‰

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