After a large (say 8+ people) birthday party, a child usually has TONS of presents (from party-attending kids; plus from parents and other relatives).

What is a good approach in terms of unpacking and letting a child play with them?

Let them open and play 100% of them the same day? Have them pick and open 1-2 a day? Prioritize the presents somehow (ones from important relatives first)?

What are the benefits and downsides of various approaches?

Ppreschool or elementary school age.

  • 4
    We always opened gifts (all of them) day of, and usually while the guests were still there. Whatever the kid wants to play with, they play with. Some gifts that weren't as liked were mostly ignored (went into the toy box and forgotten) but others got tons and tons of love. shrug Don't think it matters too much.
    – Doc
    May 29, 2014 at 14:31
  • @Doc - in my epxerience, if ALL the gifts are open, the kid is liable to overload, and NOT want to go eat, or sleep etc... as the least of the problems.
    – user3143
    May 29, 2014 at 14:58
  • 2
    I've never had that issue personally, but if I had, I'd probably either regulate ("you can open them all, but can only choose two to play with today, all the rest will be put away") or, if I knew what each gift was, allow them to only open two per day (less preferable, and requires your knowledge of what the gifts are to make sure that each day has at least one gift they'll find interesting).
    – Doc
    May 29, 2014 at 15:09
  • @Doc - just to clarify: "open" to me implies opening the box that's already unwrapped. Unwrapping them all to see what the gifts are isn't a problem, so yes, both me and the child know what all the presents are.
    – user3143
    May 29, 2014 at 15:12
  • Ah, that changes things then. I'll have to think on it before writing up a full reply
    – Doc
    May 29, 2014 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


I have exactly the same problem here. My 5-year old daughter. Toys are cheaper today. Kids parties in Brazil look like some pretty big events.

I let her open all the gifts in the same day. She can't play with them all and most of the time she forgets what toys she has. No kid can deal with that amount of toys.

At the same time, I've talked to her that she has a limited space to store these toys, so she must choose the ones she likes best to stay and which will be the ones that will have to leave (donate to the poor).

This may sound cruel, but it's a fact. We pay for our space today.

It works pretty well here, and this helps her to make choices.

  • I appreciate your honesty and the truth of your situation. I am just a bit struck that 8 toys means not enough room. I wish you the best! May 30, 2014 at 3:00
  • +1 for giving away some toys. Even if its about not having enough space to store them all, it's good to teach them charity.
    – Bobo
    May 31, 2014 at 1:00
  • 1
    @JeremyMiller in Brazil, kids parties usually means 20+ kids :-)
    – Leo
    May 31, 2014 at 12:00
  • @Bobo kids parties in Brazil are irrational consumerism. Kids must learn they can't buy love (it's hard, since this feeling comes from top to bottom)
    – Leo
    May 31, 2014 at 12:04
  • I wish my kinds of toys were cheaper today. It used to be $8.99, sometimes $9.99, for 6 inch action figures. Now, the same price nets you these awful 4 inch figures, and the 6 inch figures run $19.99+.
    – user11394
    Nov 13, 2014 at 0:52

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