How do we discourage family members from buying our children junk/commercial toys?
The best way is to be straightforward. Let your loved ones know that you want to be vigilant about the toys to which your children are exposed. The holidays actually present an excellent opportunity for us to raise awareness among family members about our values and the role of toys in reinforcing--or undermining-- them. And here, there is no need to reinvent the wheel - or to look very far. I believe the November 2003 issue of Mothering included a sample letter for family and friends on gift ideas for children. Sending your own e-mail message inspired by this letter would be a excellent way to take a stand for your children and, at the same time, educate and inspire others in your family.