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Bad Santa: Three kinds of toys you shouldn't buy for kids

Dec. 4, 2012 at 3:20 PM ET

Toyportfolio.com co-founder Stephanie Oppenheim tells TODAY all about the best toys for kids every year. TODAY.com asked her to share her picks for the WORST. What toys should you never give, especially to someone else's child?

Super noisy toys 

If it's so annoyingly loud or insistent that you want to scream, that's a good indication that the toy is too noisy. Unless you know that this particular family loves the clamor, I'd steer clear of loud toys or products without volume control. That's one of the factors we look at when we review toys.

Toys with projectile parts 

You can't ensure that siblings won't "accidentally" shoot in the direction of their little sister. I'd also be careful about giving toys that come with lots of small parts when you know there is a baby or toddler in the house.

Gross toys

Toys that enable you to make green candy snot just don't do it for me. I also steer clear of what I call ugly "rococo-plastic." Toys should have a certain level of design.

A couple more tips to remember when picking the perfect gift for children:

Parent intensive

Don't give a gift that requires a great deal of parental supervision, unless you know the parent is really into trying a chemistry set, putting together a 1,000-plus piece construction set, or teaching their children how to play a super complicated board game.

Special needs

Be mindful of the special needs of the children on your list. For example, a child with ADHD may be too frustrated by a long game with lots of rules. We have a list of toys for kids with special needs on our site.

More from TODAY Moms:

Holiday card stress: Why parents strive for perfection

Ho-ho-high-tech: Kids send digital wish lists to Santa's inbox

Kids at adult holiday parties? Kelsey Grammer did it at Playboy mansion

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