This may come across as more of a complaint than I intend.  Obviously anytime someone gives a gift they should be thanked and the gift enjoyed.  But, having had twins now for almost 10 years, there are a few gifting mistakes that folks without twins tend to make consistently and that are fairly universally viewed negatively by twins and twin parents.

So, in reverse order, here are four twin gifting fails.

4.  Failing to adhere to the same vs different established toy protocol.  This one is tough because each family’s rules are different.  But, families with twins, especially same gender twins around preschool age, have a preference here.  Either their twins are used to having their own version of every toy so they don’t fight over them.  Or, they’re used to having two similar toys that likely end up shared so there’s more variety.

As they get older, if you would like to give two gifts, two similar games is better than two copies of the same one.

Or, as their interests develop, two similar valued items targeted at the interests of each child.


3. Wrapping two different valued toys together on the assumption they will share both.  Twin children automatically assume one toy is for each child, even if they will be shared eventually.  They know when one is of substantially higher value than the other so the one who unwraps the lesser item is always let down.  Don’t add a small item just so there are two things.  One shared present is fine, so long as it is a shareable item like a game, tent, large container of blocks, or such.

2. Which brings us to the next issue.  LEGOs are not shareable toys.  Please do not buy one large LEGO set to share; two smaller ones will be much more appreciated.  Yes, the big sets are expensive and more eye popping for kids.  But, twins do not want to work together, alternating pieces on a LEGO set even if they can be convinced to do LEGO at the same time.  I have yet to run across a LEGO set where sections are designed to be built in parallel, though that would be an interesting idea for LEGO to explore with the really large sets.

1. Finally, please do not buy two items and wrap them in one piece of paper with both names.  I’ve seen this with similar and identical items.  It’s a bad look, and the kids know.  Twins are individuals and would like to be treated as such.  You went to the trouble of purchasing two gifts.  The least you could do is wrap them separately with their own names.  Pick one for each child (they will automatically switch if they want).  Unwrapping the gift is at least half the fun.