50 Ridiculous Kids' Toys, Ranked From Least to Most Annoying
Tickle Me Elmo’s shrill giggle. Painfully sharp Lego blocks. Really any toy that rattles. There are a lot of annoying kids' toys out there! And even if you’re the coolest parent or the most understanding grandparent, we’re pretty sure you’d be lying if you didn’t find at least a handful of your little loved one’s favorite pastimes to be hard on the nerves.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of the most annoying kids' toys of all time — from old-school instruments to modern-day toys and games. Whether you’re a parent yourself, you grew up with younger siblings or you’ve simply spent a fair bit of time with kids, chances are good you’ll remember these irritating items from the toy aisle.
Year released: 1950s
Dinosaurs aren't that bad, and most kids love them. Still, there aren't too many dinosaur toys that aren't irritating in one way or another. The tiny, plastic ones love to stab unsuspecting feet when one accidentally steps on them.
The large, animated ones that walk, bite and roar are even worse. Stick with the medium-sized dinosaur figurines that are too big to step on and absolutely silent.
Buy now: Advanced Play Dinosaur T-Rex Toy, $54.87
49. DIY Sewing Kits
Year released: Unknown
DIY kits are fine, for the most part. We like that they engage kids in an activity and teach skills, and they're definitely better than getting another junky, plastic toy for Christmas.
The annoying part is that craft kits, particularly sewing, knitting and crocheting kits, tend to be much harder than the box would lead you to believe. It's rare that kids manage to make something that looks even remotely like the picture on the box, leading to frustration and tears.
Sometimes, the instructions are confusing even for the grown-ups, who inevitably end up doing the project for them.
Buy now: Craft-Tastic Learn to Sew Kit, $18.99
48. Whoopee Cushion
Year released: 1930s
The modern rubber version of the Whoopee cushion was invented in the 1930s by the JEM Rubber Co. of Toronto, Canada. The company's owner pitched the concept to the owner of a practical joke company, Samuel Sorenson Adams, but Adams turned it down. He thought it was too vulgar, but it was a massive success.
Whoopee cushions make an unappealing, yet hilarious, farting sound when squeezed, which gets old, fast. Fortunately, kids can only pull this prank so many times before they tire of it.
Buy now: Forum Novelties 16-Inch Mega Fart Whoopee Cushion, $12.99
47. Voice Recorders
Year released: 1935
Who didn't enjoy pretending to be a spy as a kid? Or a detective, or a CIA agent?
Changing your voice and recording secret voice memos was a blast, but voice recorders that distort your voice become obnoxious to listen to after about 10 minutes.
These are tolerable, but only if kids play with them out in the yard.
Buy now: SpyX / Micro Voice Disguise Spy Toy, $13.99
46. Crazy Legs Learning Bug
Year released: 2019
VTech has made millions off so-called electronic "learning" toys, but the majority of them are pretty obnoxious. They're geared toward toddlers, a group that collectively adores bright colors, flashing lights and saccharine-sweet singing.
The toys aren't, however, much more engaging or educational than old-fashioned versions, and they're way more annoying. The Crazy Legs Learning Bug, for example, is simply a garish, plastic shape sorter.
At best, it's irritating. At worst, it's overstimulating and a waste of $20.
Buy now: VTech Crazy Legs Learning Bugs, $17.99
Year released: 1978
Simon was released by Milton-Bradley in 1978 at a midnight release party hosted at Studio 54, an upscale disco club in New York City. It was an instant hit, and the game was extremely popular throughout the '80s and much of the '90s.
If kids today have forgotten about it, please do not be the one to remind them. It's a light flashing, talking memory game that's both addictive and annoying as all get out.
On the upside, it's a great gift to give kids whose parents you can't stand.
Buy now: Hasbro Gaming Simon Memory Game, $19.82
44. Roffle Mates Roly the Dog
Year released: 2010
This ridiculous kid's toy has been dubbed the laughing horror dog from hell. All this thing does is roll around on the floor laughing maniacally.
Kids find it hilarious at first, but once the novelty wears off, Roly the Dog just becomes something you kick across the floor in a panic when you step on it on the way to the bathroom at 3 a.m.
Buy now: Roffle Mates Roly The Dog, $52.79
43. The Otamatone
Year released: 2009
The Otamatone is actually pretty cool. It's a quirky music toy shaped like a musical note with an adorable happy face. To use it, you slide your finger along the instrument's stem to play electronic notes.
Most adults have fun fiddling with it, but listening to it gets old after about 20 minutes.
Buy now: Otamatone White, $29.57
42. Switch and Go Dinos
Year released: 2018
In general, transforming toys are cool. This one transforms from a helicopter to a toy dinosaur, and we have no problem with that. It also, however, plays annoying flying sounds whenever the toy is moved.
To make matters worse, it can play more than 70 different phrases at the push of a button. And you know kids are going to push that button over and over again.
Even better, it has a built-in searchlight for kids to shine in their parents' eyes at 6:30 in the morning for no apparent reason. Love it.
Buy now: VTech Switch & Go Dinos Blister The Velociraptor, $27.99
41. Imitation Hulk Hands
Year released: 2003
Hulk hands were released alongside the 2003 "Hulk" film, and they're nothing more than large, foamy green fists. Kids put their hands in them and can pretend to fight each other. Play fights, however, usually turn into real fights, and someone always ends up in tears.
Often, it's the kid wearing them who gets upset — after they socked mom in the back with reckless abandon, thinking the foam hands somehow makes that OK.
News flash: It does not.
Buy now: Marvel Avengers Gamma Grip Hulk Fists, $28.99
40. Pets Alive
Year released: Early 2000s
We're not entirely sure when the first Pets Alive toy came out, but it was likely a spin-off from the Baby Alive toy line, which was originally made in 1973 and revamped by Hasbro in 2006.
Pets Alive is a somewhat similar concept, except the animals are battery-operated, singing, dancing and talking parents to the brink of insanity.
These things are obnoxious, and thanks to their mechanical parts, they're too hard to snuggle. Put a bunch of these and a Furby in a Rage Room and let parents go to town.
Buy now: Pets Alive Fifi the Flossing Sloth, $19
Year released: 1822
Harmonicas are cool. If you know how to play a harmonica, that is. The harmonica dates back to 19th century Germany, and it's a legitimate instrument that gets everyone tapping their feet when played by someone who knows what they're doing. Blues musicians love them.
Six-year-olds, however, are not blues musicians. While learning to actually play it is possible, most kids would rather hold their parents hostage at harmonica living room concerts that never seem to end.
They usually end with a flourish, too, blowing into the harmonica as hard as they can.
Buy now: Small Fish Harmonica for Kids, $11.95
38. A Microphone
Year released: 1877
Microphones have been around for more than a century, but some genius decided to market a version for kids. Naturally, it was a big hit, because what kid doesn't love making a brain-rattling racket? It's tons of fun, as long as you're the one making the racket and not the one listening to it.
To make matters worse, these kid-friendly mics are trending, and they come with sound-distorters to make karaoke night even harder on the ears.
Buy now: Niskite Karaoke Microphone for Kids, $27.99
37. Permanent Markers
Year released: 1952
The permanent marker was invented in 1952 by Sidney Rosenthal. For teens and adults, permanent markers are exceedingly useful. There's a reason Sharpies are considered essential office supplies, and most of us have a Sharpie or two at home.
For kids, however, permanent markers are a terrible gift. Kids adore them, but it only takes about 30 seconds for an artistic toddler to trash an entire wall with a single marker. There are ways of removing it, but it's way easier to keep them away from kids in the first place.
Buy now: 30 Colors Permanent Markers, Fine Point, $12.99
Year released: 1934
Modern plastic glitter was made by the American machinist Henry Ruschmann Sr., and it was quite possibly the most destructive, vile invention he ever came up with. Glitter may be sparkly and fun to look at, but every parent knows that once glitter enters your house, it never leaves.
Cleaning up glitter is almost impossible, yet kids' craft kits haven't stopped adding in those tiny, demonic packets that usually end up dropped on the carpet.
Glitter is the worst, and it's terrible for the environment, too.
Buy now: Glitter for Slime, Extra Fine, $7.99
35. Wazoo Kazoo
Year released: 1883
The official description of the Wazoo Kazoo says everything you need to know about the children’s toy: It’s an “excessively loud” instrument. The horn on the top of the kazoo amplifies and projects the sound, making it one of the loudest kazoo instruments on the market.
Unfortunately for parents — and their neighbors — the kazoo has been around for more than 100 years and is still a well-loved kids' toy.
Buy now: Wazoo Kazoo, $2.99
Year released: 1956
Play-Doh has been around for more than 65 years at this point — and has sold over 3 billion cans of the stuff since its inception back in 1956. While, sure, Play-Doh might not be loud or painful when stepped on, it gets into everything, dries into carpets and clothes, and sometimes is even consumed by little ones.
In short, it’s annoyingly messy.
Buy now: 20 Can Superset, $14.99
33. Rock Tumbler
Year released: 1970
Lots of kids who grew up with rock tumblers have ended up becoming those adults that shop at crystal stores — but that’s not what makes the tumbler kit so annoying.
Rather, it’s the sheer constant tumbling noise from the rough rocks being, well, quite literally tumbled for days and hours on end while becoming polished stones.
Buy now: National Geographic Rock Tumbler, $46
32. Kinetic Sand
Year released: 2014
Kids love Kinetic Sand for its moldability and interesting sensory experience — but it can be both stressful and annoying to deal with as a parent.
Kinetic Sand is made from a combination of 98 percent ultra-fine grain sand and 2 percent dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane), which makes it not only a very messy toy to keep around the house but also toxic to most pets if ingested.
Buy now: Kohl's Kinetic Sand Kit, $8.24
31. Rubber Chicken
Year released: Early 1900s
The Rubber Chicken has been a classic tool in clowning and other entertainment acts since the early 1900s — but it has also become a common gag toy for little ones, much to parents’ dismay.
The imitation chicken toy makes a horrendous squeaking noise when squished — and for one reason or another results in fits of laughter, even after the hundredth squish.
Buy now: Amazon's 2-Pack of Rubber Chickens, $10.99
30. Toy Megaphone
Year released: Late 1800s
Although they’re little, most kids’ voices can travel pretty efficiently without any amplification — which is why the toy megaphone is completely unnecessary!
Of course, kids love hearing their voice over the megaphone — but sometimes amplifying playtime noises just results in a headache.
Buy now:Walmart's Buzzy Bullhorn, $15
29. Ikiki Squeaky Shoes
Year released: 2017
Yes, Ikiki Squeaky Shoes are a cute idea in theory: The squishy little toddler sneakers are adorable, made for new walkers and come in a high top design that makes it easier to keep them strapped onto little feet.
But, while the built-in squeaker can be turned off, no parent wants to listen to their kids making a sharp squeaking noise with every single step they take.
Buy now: Ikiki Squeaky Shoes, $29.95
Year released: 2018
We’re not sure who invented Yellies!, but we’re betting whoever it was probably doesn’t have kids at home.
The cheeky spider-shaped kids' toy feeds off of yelling — kids literally need to yell as loud as possible to make the toy react and move. Need we say more?
Buy now: Yellies Pet Spider, $5.49
27. Ball Pit
Ball pit at an amusement park or fast food dining room? The perfect way to burn some energy before heading home! Ball pit at home? A cluttered, messy, danger zone!
No parent wants to spend the day tripping over (or chasing after) an endless stream of colorful plastic balls, trust us.
Buy now: Premium Ball Pit, $229
26. Karaoke Machine
Year released: 1967
There’s a time and a place for pulling out the karaoke machine — like, say, a get together on a Friday night.
But try telling that to the kids when they’re bursting with energy and ready to belt it all out at 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
Buy now:Karaoke USA, $119.99
25. Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Toy
Year released: 2016
The Code-a-Pillar toy is a smart option for parents looking to foster problem solving and critical thinking in little ones — but unfortunately, most parents agree that this brain toy is simply much too loud.
The caterpillar moves and makes sounds throughout the coding process, and the loud speaker cannot be turned down or muted.
Buy now: Think & Learn Rocktopus Toy, $29.99
24. Slingshot Flying Screaming Monkey
Year released: 2001
The name of the Slingshot Flying Screaming Monkey really says it all.
This seemingly innocent kids' toy was designed to be flung aggressively through the air — and literally screams when it crashes into the walls, furniture, expensive floor lamps or heirloom vases you might have on display.
Buy now: Flying Screaming Monkey, $6.99
23. Silly String
Year released: 1972
Yes, silly string is fun to use, we admit, but have you ever tried cleaning the stuff up? It’s a sticky, gloopy mess — and it doesn’t exactly come out of clothes very easily either.
First invented to be used as an instant cast for injuries, the aerosol product was much better received as an outdoor toy and is sometimes still used at weddings despite its messy reputation.
Buy now: WOW Silly String, $2.14
22. Polly Pocket
Year released: 1983
A hundred shades of bubblegum pink and adorably micro-sized, Polly Pocket seems like a great toy for older kids — until you step on one of her teeny tiny accessories!
The hard plastic parts are surprisingly sharp — and you don’t realize it until they’re embedded into the heel of your foot!
Buy now:Polly Pocket, $20.08
21. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy
Year released: 2014
The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy is cute, safe for young babies and educational, which are all excellent factors when shopping for toys.
But the Laughing Puppy is extremely sensitive and can be set off just by the smallest bump — which is not just annoying but totally impractical if there are napping kids in the house.
Buy now: Laugh & Learn Puppy, $14.99
20. B. Meowsic Cat Keyboard
Year released: 2012
Unless your little one is the next Mozart, chances are good this Meowsic Cat Keyboard is going to get on your nerves — quickly. The cheeky cat-themed piano is admittedly cute at first glance, but like most children’s instruments, it’s a headache waiting to happen.
The worst part? If you don’t use it for a while, it will randomly start meowing to get your little one’s attention.
Buy now: B. Meowsic Keyboard, $32.99
19. Melissa and Doug Sound Puzzles
Year released: 2013
Think of Melissa and Doug Sound Puzzles as the upgraded (and very annoying) version of the classic wooden puzzles that have been floating around toy boxes for the past century.
The sensory toys are great for encouraging littles to explore shapes and sounds — but once they’re able to correctly match the puzzle shapes with ease, get ready for farm animal and vehicle noises playing on loop.
Buy now:M&D Sound Puzzle, $13.49
18. Hot Wheels
Year released: 1968
Hot Wheels have been a staple in every child’s household since their inception more than 50 years ago — and for good reason. They’re affordable, fun to play with and can easily be used in myriad track and imagination games.
But, if you’ve ever accidentally stepped on one of the sharp little metal cars, you’ll understand exactly why they’ve made it on the list.
Buy now: Hot Wheels X Toy Car, $20.96
Year released: 1959
Like Hot Wheels, Barbie has become a household classic since she first hit the scene in 1959. And while she doesn’t make noise or come with very sharp pieces, she has a lot of accessories.
Just one Barbie can turn into a whole playroom full of different Barbies and accessories that will somehow always end up in every corner of the house.
Buy now: Barbie Pop Star, $7.94
Year released: 1983
Originally launched at the London Toy Fair in January 1983, Jenga has become a well-loved board game for families around the world.
Yes, it’s fun and engaging, but cleaning it up after the tower comes tumbling down is extremely tedious.
Buy now: Classic Jenga, $12.97
Year released: 1967
Invented by Eddy Goldfarb and Rene Soriano, Kerplunk is quite similar in concept to Jenga — but it’s much, much louder and aggressive when everything starts tumbling down.
Not only that, but strategically sticking all those little plastic wands through the perforated sides takes forever for just one round.
Buy now:Kerplunk Marbles, $14.95
Year released: 1976
Although Slime was first invented by Mattel Toys nearly 50 years ago, DIY Slime has become a popular pastime among pre-teens — much to the dismay of parents.
The oozing substance was originally designed to be as disgusting as possible (and even came packaged in a miniature garbage can) and somehow seems to get into everything.
Buy now: Elmer's Mega Slime Kit, $28
13. Star Wars Scream Saber Lightsaber
Year released: 2019
Lightsabers aren’t so bad, but the new Star Wars Scream Saber takes it to a whole new level of irritating.
The upgraded Lightsaber allows kids to record their own sound effects and play them back with a flick of the wrist — over and over again.
Buy now: Star Wars Electric Lightsaber, $14.99
12. Rainbow Loom
Year released: 2010
The Rainbow Loom was invented just over a decade ago by Cheong Choon Ng in Novi, Michigan.
While it’s a smart toy to get older kids to be creative and work with their hands, the little rubber bands somehow end up all over the house (and can be quite dangerous for younger siblings or pets).
Buy now: The Original Rainbow Loom, $9.97
Year released: 2004
AquaBeads were first invented in 2004 and have quickly become a well-loved classic.
The stick-with-water beads are easy and safe to work with — but somehow, even when it’s just water, these little beads wind up making a huge mess and get everywhere.
Buy now: AquaBeads Kit, $29.99
Year released: 1388 (approximately)
Most elementary-aged kids learn to play the recorder at school but are encouraged to practice at home.
Sure, it’s cute to see little ones learning to create their own music, but that novelty fades after you’ve listened to “Hot Cross Buns” for the umpteenth time.
Buy now: Plastic Soprano Recorder, $8.60
9. Drum Set
Year released: 6000 BC (approximately)
Why is it always the cool aunt or uncle that buys kids their first drum kit? Because they get to stick around, snap some cute videos and enjoy the novelty of their niece or nephew trying to navigate such a big instrument before the reverberating headaches begin.
We’re all for kids becoming musicians, but let’s start easy with a few guitar strums, shall we?
Buy now: 3-Piece Drum Set, $79.99
8. Hungry Hungry Hippos
Year released: 1978
Created by toy inventor Fred Kroll, Hungry Hungry Hippos is admittedly a very fun way to spend an hour or so — but it’s much less enjoyable when the endless hippo chomping echos through the house for hours on end.
It’s a surprisingly loud tabletop game that might be best reserved for the cottage (or grandma’s house).
Buy now: Hungry Hungry Hippos, $19.99
7. Bop It!
Year released: 1996
Based on concepts by Dan Klitsner, the Bop It! became an instant hit — not only is it fun and social, it’s actually a great brain game.
That said, its heavy use of audio can quickly become annoying — especially the newer Bop It! versions with even more annoying sound effects.
Buy now: Bop It! $14.99
6. Nerf Gun
Year released: 1992
No, it’s not a violent toy, necessarily, but being poked with a Nerf Gun over and over is extremely annoying.
Worse still, is having a rogue Nerf pellet ricocheting off of your furniture or shelving and knocking over delicate lamps or glassware.
Buy now: Nerf Fortnite, $27.88
Year released: 1996
What could be annoying about a teeny tiny virtual pet, you ask? Well, have you ever had a Tamagotchi unexpectedly die on an unassuming and impressionable little one?
We’re talking tears for days.
Buy now: Demon Slayer: Tamagotchi, $24.99
Year released: 1932
First released in Billund, Denmark, by Ole Kirk Christiansen, LEGO has become a standard in pretty much every family household — and it’s a whole lot of fun.
But, as every parent or older sibling knows, there’s absolutely nothing worse than accidentally stepping on a sharp little LEGO piece.
Buy now: Lego Space Port, $99.99
Year released: 1998
Considered to be one of the most hotly anticipated toys of the late 1990s, Furbies were well-loved by kids for their alien-like voices and owl-like resemblance.
Being the first domestically aimed robot, the mysterious little guys are programmed to “learn” English by practicing their language skills — and it gets old, fast.
Buy now: 15cm Furby, $74
2. Fisher-Price Corn Popper
Year released: 1957
If you grew up any time after the late 1950s, chances are good that you’ve used a Fisher Price Corn Popper. The micro-sized, vacuum-like toy lets little ones run wild while “popping” a series of colorful balls that shoot around in a little globe making an incredible amount of noise.
Cute? Yes. Annoying? Incredibly so.
Buy now:Corn Popper Rattle, $4.99
1. Tickle Me Elmo
Year released: 1996
Tickle Me Elmo is perhaps the most widely successful toy of our time — the worldwide shortage upon its release was a frenzied mess of parents desperate to score the toy for their little ones. Why? We’re not exactly sure.
The Elmo toy was incredibly annoying, making laughing noises and spouting out endless catch phrases every time he was squeezed or hugged.
Buy now: Tickle Me Elmo, $19.97