Why, you may be asking, might one voluntarily look for the most annoying toys?
Let’s start with altruistic reasons. These are toys that babies, toddlers, and preschool-aged children absolutely love.
In fact, it’s a well-documented and scientific fact that the more annoying a toy is and the more parents dislike it, the more a child will love it. Ok so maybe not fact, but at least true in my house.
Second, sometimes you’re just looking for an annoying gift. Maybe you want to be the “cool” aunt or uncle that gets them something mommy won’t buy.
Or maybe you’re trying to get revenge on a friend or family member after they got your kid the loudest and most annoying toy in the world last year.
Whatever the reason, we’ve got this year’s top most annoying kids toys. (Updated 9/12/2021)
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The Absolute Worst and Most Annoying Toys:
A set of 4(!) monkeys you can shoot across the room and listen to them scream the whole way.
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: Oh so many reasons. For starters, they’re not the easiest to use for young hands, which means you’ll find yourself having to assist or slingshot it for them.
Second, the screaming sounds as they fly (and crash!) are super annoying. Finally, they’ll hit and break everything within a 20 foot radius.
To top it all off, even if you wanted to remove the battery to take away the infernal screeching, they’ve made it incredibly difficult. You actually have to cut open the back of the monkey.
An adorable robotic caterpillar that introduces young children to coding. There are mats on the floor where you can set it to start and finish. Children have to use the directional coding blocks to get the code-a-pillar from point A to point B. Fun and educational!
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: It’s SO LOUD. The toy is constantly making noises and playing songs at a very high volume with no option to mute or turn it down. This is such a common complaint that it has forced parents to manually hack their kid’s code-a-pillars.
There are also tons of annoying pieces. The command segments are removable and constantly getting lost in a busy playroom. For extra annoyance, be sure to also purchase the expansion pack.
Fun fact… the code-a-pillar was also featured on The 20 Best STEM Gift Ideas for Smart Babies and Toddlers
An extensive set of fun tunnels, tents, and a ball pit (with an included basketball hoop!).
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: Two words: Balls. Everywhere.
Ball pits are *hands down* some of the most annoying Christmas gifts you can get for children. This set requires at minimum 500 balls to fill appropriately. Which means literally hundreds of pieces floating around your living room. Kids throw the balls against the walls, at your lamps, at each other – you name it!
To top it all off, this set is HUGE. Every time the kids want to play, you’ve got to assemble this behemoth of a jungle gym.
Fun fact… Jo got a ball pit for Rachel’s kids one Christmas! I had no idea how annoying they were. Sorry, Rach!
4 | Yellies!
Adorable stuffed toys that light up and move… but only when you yell, scream, or clap around them.
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory – this toy literally encourages your child to make as much noise as possible.
In fact, their tagline is “The louder you yell, the faster they go!”. So if you’re looking for a cheap and fun gift for your frenemy’s kid, look no further.
Adorable shoes that make fun squeaking noises with every step. They come in different animal/character patterns so there’s a perfect match for every child.
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: Admittedly, this one is both a practical and an annoying gift. ‘Practical’ because they are real shoes, which kids always need and are constantly growing out of. Plus, when you’re in a crowd, squeaky shoes make it easy to find your child. The squeakers can even be removed if you want to turn them into ‘regular’ shoes.
Ok now let’s talk about the annoying factor. These shoes make a loud squeak with every… single… step. Indoors, outdoors, echoey hallways, during church services, etc. Sure you can turn the squeaker off, but kids LOVE the noise and will fight you on it.
6 | Play-Doh Sets
Fun, colorful, and moldable clay kids can use to make a variety of objects. It’s wonderful because it really lets them use their creativity and can be [theoretically] used over and over again.
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: Oh play doh. How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways…
I loathe thee to the depth and breadth and height
Watching my kids mix the colors, fills me a certain fright.
For the ends of being and ideal grace
Your play doh-y mess gets all over the place.
There is no chance of freeing rouge pieces from the rug
Cleaning hardened bits from tools is certainly quite the bug.
I loathe thee with a hate I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I loathe thee with the breath,
Tears, so many tears, of my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but loathe thee better after death.
A working megaphone that can be easily held and used by kids.
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: I think I speak for all parents out there when I ask, “who in their right mind made a megaphone for kids??”
It’s annoying because it’s literally a megaphone. This means it amplifies your child’s already piercing screams and shouts… including an ultra-annoying voice changer mode. Bonus points, it also makes that loud screech intermittently characteristic of a true megaphone.
8 | Recorder
A durable, plastic recorder that introduces young children to the possibility of creating and exploring music at a young age.
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: Really any instrument kids can play belongs on this list, but the recorder is especially bad.
I’m sure you remember the days of playing the recorder in school. If you blow too hard or don’t have your fingers pressed completely over the holes, you get a piercing shriek so loud it will break the windows.
Create your own science experiment at home and make a variety of different colored and textured slimes.
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: First, glitter. Oh so much glitter. And only half of it ends up in the slime. The rest is embedded in your carpet and hides in the seams of your clothes for months.
Second, making (and playing with!) slime is a messy process that requires parental supervision and lots of set up and clean up. Children love it, but you usually hear a very audible *sigh* from parents when kids ask for it.
10 | Moldable Play Sand
Colored “magic” sand that brings a fun day of the beach to your own home! This sand can be molded and shaped without water for building and creating fun projects.
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: Their promise of “easy clean” is very misleading. Trust me, this stuff gets everywhere. We’ve banned it to outdoor status only, but still it manages to track all over my floors.
My kids really do love it though, they can play for over an hour independently with the stuff. They get really upset, however, when it falls on the grass or through the deck and they can’t pick it up.
11 | Cat Piano
The Meowsic Keyboard is a real piano that can play notes in 5 different instruments (including a cat meowing!). It’s a wonderfully interactive toy that allows children to play tunes, pre-programmed songs, and even sing along and record their voice.
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: Can we just start with the fact this thing looks incredibly creepy? Kind of like a spooky cheshire cat carnival game.
Now when it comes to play there are 3 major functions with this toy, and they’re all louder and more annoying than the next:
- The free-play keyboard notes. One of the “instruments” is cat. They could have recorded a cat’s meow and changed the pitch with a computer. But noooo… instead they recorded a HUMAN voice pretending to be a cat in different pitches. Trust me, it’s terrible.
- The pre-programmed songs. They literally took regular songs and changed them to be feline themed. Some are pretty basic swaps such as ‘How much is that kitty in the window’. But if you want to hear how they changed the 12 day of Christmas, you’ll have to buy the toy and find out.
- The recording option. It has a retractable microphone so kids can sing along to the hideous tunes. But wait, there’s more! They can even record themselves singing with the microphone and play it back over and over and over. Yay!
12 | Foam Letter Mats
Colorful, durable, and easy to clean play mat. Extra thick to prevent injury from falls and the surface is non-slip to prevent accidents. Plus, it’s interlocking and changeable so it will fit any space and even connect with other sets!
Why it’s on the ‘most annoying toys’ list: There’s one common sentiment I hear from moms who have this play mat, “I want to chuck it into my fireplace”.
The nice thing about getting this as a gift for someone is that the annoying factor isn’t apparent right away. On first glance, this looks like a kind and thoughtful gift!
Once babies discover the mat can be pulled apart, you’re done for. They will pull it apart constantly, removing the edges, tiles, letters and everything. Then all the pieces get loose and visible dirt starts to build in the cracks. Ugh.
What are some toys that your kids absolutely LOVE but that you wish would just disappear?
I can’t be the only mom out there who has a list of the most annoying toys. Let me know in the comments!