Parenting Hack: Nearly FREE Toddler Gifts

A Christmas gift tip for parents of toddlers: Don’t stress so much about picking the perfect gift this year. On Christmas morning kids at this age, after opening all of their thoughtfully selected and carefully wrapped gifts, simply toss those presents aside and begin playing with the gift boxes instead. Really! Those of you who are experienced parents, back me up on this. Do I have that about right?

The Christmas Gift Aftermath

So I was thinking: Do you remember as a kid the hours and hours of joy boxes (especially big discarded appliance boxes) gave you? We turned them into forts… and spaceships to the moon. They caused us to use our imaginations. I’ve come up with a practical solution for Christmas this year; let’s do our toddler gift shopping at U-Haul. For a tiny amount of money we can get them a really nice selection of small, medium and large boxes, as well as some bubble wrap and a roll or two of packing tape. Toddler heaven!!

U-Haul Boxes

[this is NOT a sponsored post]

What do you think? No fighting crowds at the mall while “Wonderful Christmastime” plays for the 37th time over the muzak. No wrestling some over-caffeinated parent for the last Harry Potter Funkoverse Strategy Game (yes that’s a thing… and yes that’s an affiliate link). No 2 AM bleary-eyed construction of complicated toys that are always missing a crucial part. And best of all our little bundles of joy will get exactly what they really want for Christmas… the boxes!

From our family to yours, here’s wishing you a very safe and Merry Christmas!


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  1. Pure genius.

    1. Right? Thanks for stopping by, Carl. Have a great weekend!

  2. I am an adult and I love to pop some bubble wrap from time to time.

    1. LOL… much cheaper and likely more effective than Prozac! Have a great weekend, David!

  3. One of my family friends actually sent their nieces and nephews a HUGE roll of bubblewrap… like the size of three four Molly’s! They had a blast (in th pics) with it!

    1. See… maybe I’m not so crazy after all. Okay, I probably still have a screw or two loose, but it’s true about kiddos liking the boxes and stuff. LOL. Have a great weekend!

  4. Boxes are great fun! Our kids love them too!

    1. Hi Rachel. Typing on iPad so pardon my brevity. Thanks for stopping by! I just added your button to my fav’s list, btw. Have a great day!

  5. This is great! Parents get soooo excited for baby’s first, second, third Christmas….but you can make a cardboard box as exciting as a brand new tricyle at that age! keep the great ideas coming! For another fun dad’s perspective, check out

    1. Hey, there. Thanks for dropping by and for the re-tweet as well. I checked out and left a comment as well. Really great site. I encourage my readers (all 6 of you) to go check it out! Have a great afternoon.

  6. It sounds wonderful! We’ve moved around a lot so I’ve seen first hand how much they enjoy it! Fun!

    1. Hey there, Esther. Loved your recent blog (well the one before that about the snake, too) about your daughter in the back seat. I’m not going to go into details here. Readers go check out the Laugh with Us Blog and read them for yourself.

  7. Love that idea!
    Great post!

    1. Thanks Nicole.

      I know you’ve been really busy. Me too actually. Hope all is going well with you all. I’ll try to drop by (your blog not Guthrie) sometime over the weekend.


  8. Absolutely brilliant. Seriously, I may steal this idea–but then it’s a matter of making sure that my husband doesn’t steal it all from the kid…hmmm.

    1. Seriously, right? If my wife would let me (she won’t) I’d totally do this, Ginger. Feel free to let the hubby do a cartoon on it if he’s so inclined.

  9. Sounds like a perfect gift to me. I know my 3 year old absolutely LOVES bubble wrap and is always helping me go through the pile of mail to check for envelopes that are lined in bubble wrap so she can tear them wide open and ‘hop pop’ them.

    1. Hi Stephi. Hope you feel better soon. Per your comment, yes, after opening all of their carefully wrapped gifts they are just going to toss them aside and begin playing with the gift boxes and bubble wrap anyway, right? LOL.

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