Oliver Hudson’s Son Gives Back for His Birthday

09/07/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Oliver Hudson is already teaching his toddler the importance of charity. The Rules of Engagement star’s eldest son Wilder Brooks celebrated his third birthday on Aug. 23 — but he wasn’t the only kid benefiting from the gifts.

“Wilder got massive amounts of presents at his party — I wanted him to understand that this isn’t normal,” Hudson, 33, told PEOPLE Moms & Babies at The Art of Elysium Second Annual Genesis Event.

“[I told him,] ‘There are a lot of kids without any toys so we’re going to [go through] your old toys. You can choose the ones you want to keep and we’ll give the others to children with no toys.’ It was great because he got it. He was totally fine with it.”

However, giving time with mom and dad away to 5-month-old brother Bodhi Hawn has proven to be more challenging for the tot.

“We came home from the hospital and [Wilder] was amazing — kissing him and dancing for him,” said Hudson. “After two months he got jealous, but he loves him.”

Wilder has some practice sharing the family spotlight with his cousin Ryder, Kate Hudson’s 6-year-old son.

“Ryder and Wilder are good friends,” said Hudson. “Wilder will follow him around and do what he does. They have a good two-three hours of playing and then it turns into a little bit of rivalry.”

— Michelle Ward

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 33 comments

Janna on

We did the same with our kids when they were small. No matter if they got 2 presents or 40, there’s no age too young to teach them to share.

amandamay on

Cute! It’s great to teach kids from a young age to give back.

Erin on

For us it’s important that the girls want to do good deeds because they’ve learned it’s important through watching the adults in our family through the years. We do charitable things and donate time on occasions other than holidays, fundraisers and birthdays. My job throughout law school was as an events coordinator at a food bank. Without fail the most help I got literally and emotionally came from people who showed up the day AFTER a fundraiser. Or on a random summer afternoon when most kids and their moms would be at the beach. I think it’s fantastic that Erin is teaching her kids that their lives are materialistically different than most. I think any help anyone can give ever is needed and appreciated. But keep in mind (especially during these tough times) that showing up “just because” is more necessary and inspiring than you know. And your kid will have a major light bulb moment that will last forever. You wont need to explain. Words wont matter.

etsy on

Some of the best parties my kids have been to are $2 parties. $2 goes to the birthday kid and $2 goes to a charity of the child’s choice. I took my daughter shopping and she got to pick out what she really wanted (since she gets a massive amount of presents from family already and didn’t need more from friends)!

Nina on

Oh Please,you parents and your self-righteousness.I hate parents that try to appease others by quote “DOING THE RIGHT THING” un-quote.So what if your kids get massive amounts of toys,my kids get massive amounts of toys and I FEEL NO GUILT.We don’t do the whole rummage through your old toys and give them to needy kids routine,to make ourselves feel better.Teaching my kids not to be self-fish,to share to be kind and to be gracious is more important to me than making them feel guilty for getting a massive amount of toys.My kids go to public school and are with children from every socio-economic back ground they know that not every one gets massive amounts of toys.So they accept their massive amounts of toys with a greatful heart!!!

robinepowell on

The present I give to any one year old is Fisher Price’s Chatter Phone. They love poking their finger in the holes to “dial” the phone and what’s even better is the kids can pull along behind them.

I agree it’s a good idea to give away old toys, especially when all your kids have outgrown them.😉

Sky on

Wow Nina, do you have any more advice from the “I’m a Perfect Parent” committee? Any more tips? With your attitude I’d be surprised if your children were anywhere near as grateful as you say they are.

Allison on

Truthfully, I’d be more impressed if they had their kid pick out some of his new gifts (since it was a massive amount) and donate those to a children’s hopsital or kids that didn’t have parents, etc. It’s nice to recycle your old stuff, but if the old stuff is what they enjoy playing with, they won’t miss a few new, wrapped toys out of the massive amount. And any underprivledged child would love a new wrapped toy.

Also, children’s hospitals can’t accept used toys, due to germs.

kmb on

Wow Nina, not only is your comment completely rude and unnecessary, but proofreading might have helped your cause a bit. No one will take you seriously if you cannot spell.

Regardless, it seems like a nice thing that Oliver and his family are doing.

I went to public school with many kids who were spoiled and had a blind eye to the poverty and lack of riches of some of the lower-class students. I also went to school with kids and families who were aware, and who donated to “Toys for Tots,” etc. Awareness and sharing has little to do with type of school one attends. So don’t feed everyone that “my kids are knowledgeable and aware of the world because they go to public school, therefore they don’t have to share their own massive amounts of toys.”

No one said children should feel “guilty” about getting a lot of toys, rather the point was to express that sharing with others who are less fortunate is a nice thing to do.

Anonymous on

i agree with allison. it was very nice of wilder and oliver to pick out toys to give away but (THIS IS MY OPINION) i think it would’ve been a better lesson for wilder to give away his new gifts. why? because he’s going to learn that less priviliged people deserve less than he does. that’s my humble opinion.

CelebBabyLover on

robinepowell- Ah, the chatter phone! I had one of those when I was tiny!🙂 As for Wilder giving toys to charity…..I think it’s great! As well as donating to charities, hopsitals, pre-schools, daycares, etc., I have another suggestion for those of you who are looking to donate your kids’ old toys: Donate them to your church playroom (if your church has a playroom, that is. A few churches have a basket of toys even if they don’t have an actual playroom, though. The church I went to while I was growing up was one of them. :)).

The church will probably be grateful to get some new toys for the playroom (I’ve been in enough church playrooms to know that most of them don’t get new toys very often!), and if your kids are anything like I was as a kid, they’ll love getting to see their old toys there (plus, that’s one way they can still play with the toys themselves from time to time! :))!🙂

J on

So he apparently gets a massive amount of new toys but he has to give away the OLD stuff? How about just giving away the new stuff while it’s still in the boxes?

Nina never claimed to be a perfect parent, Sky. You seem to be the one with the defensive attitude…

Manal on

I think its beautiful that hes teaching his kids to give back , this is how i want to be with my future kids.. but i also have to agree with Allison.

DJB on

@Allison.. Good point. I was thinking the same thing. “Let’s get rid of the toys we don’t want.” Wouldn’t it be teaching them more about self sacrifice if they gave up some of the fun new toys from the “massive” amount they received?

Sunny on

My question is why do celebs (or anyone, for that matter) need to talk about the charity they do? Just do it quietly – why do you need to draw attention to the fact that you did a good deed?

Ellea on

Allison I was thinking the same exact thing. It just seemed to defeat the purpose, I know if i were his kid I’d have no issue throwing out my old stuff to play with my massive amount of new gifts!

Marisela on

You’ve got to be kidding me.

I highly doubt they’re giving away toys that have been battered and worn out for 10+ years. My niece’s birthday is in July and since Christmas is five months later, my sister has her donate some toys she got from her birthday. Likewise, when her birthday rolls around, she donates some of the toys she received at Christmas. We’re talking about six month intervals, give or take.

Let’s not criticize a good deed because, to some, it wasn’t good enough.

Anna on

Well it would be hard to give away new gifts. What if that gift was bought by someone who put a lot of time and effort into finding the perfect gift, spent hard earned money on it for that special person just to find out it was given away the next day.

I do not see the need for giving away toys. Would be smarter to just limit the amount of presents a bit.

lipsy on

I think celebs feel the need to discuss the charity they do because they just ‘can’t win’. They are criticised for getting massive amounts of presents (and not mentioning charity), for being thin and being able to afford a personal trainer etc. Everyone wants celebs to be like us, but they just have a lot more money!
As for Nina, you clearly are trying to justify your kids and their presents by explaining that they go to public school! The Hudsons just made a simple statement!

Denise on

Just wondering how he got massive amounts of presents? Did they have massive amounts of kids? I just think that with some of these celebrities they end up having these huge parties for their children…many guests = many presents.

Then again, it may have been a small party and most of the presents were from the grandparents…you know how many presents those grandparents can bring to parties!

Anyway, a nice balance would have been give away some old and some new.

Chris on

Nina needs to go back to public school with her kids and learn how to write correctly (punctuation and spelling).

Sunny: I don’t think people talk about their charitable work to brag; I appreciate hearing new ideas that benefit others.

We donate our used items to Animal Humane Thrift Shop (only items we would be willing to purchase); they are affordable, the shop is always busy, and the money goes to the care of the animals waiting to be adopted.

Sunny on

Chris – fair enough. Maybe that is the reason why celebs and others talk about it so much.

Jennifer on

I totally get where they are coming from. My kids are very blessed but I make sure that they understand that not all kids are and that they should be thankful for what they do have. I would never make my kids give away their new birthday or holiday gifts. There is nothing wrong with a child celebrating a special day with a gift or even “massive amounts” of gifts just for them. Gifts are especially chosen and given to someone and should be appreciated as such. There are other ways to help your child understand that there are others in need and help them to develop a charitable heart.

We collect food for our church’s food bank, participate in an angel tree every Christmas and take toys/books throughout the year to a local children’s hospital. We go to the store and pick out things especially for these needs. It’s fun to see my son pick up a Barbie and say “Some little girl will love this”. See he’s thinking of who the gift is for instead of giving away things that were chosen especially for him.

meghan on

robinepowell The Chatter Phone was my favorite as a kid! I’m glad to hear that people are still giving that one as gifts. I know it was a huge hit with me!

“Let’s not criticize a good deed because, to some, it wasn’t good enough.”

Well said, Marsiela! Take a good deed for what it is and don’t pick it apart.

Penny on

I LOVE that they donated toys! It sounds like a really great thing they did!

For all the people criticizing them on donating their “old” toys instead of the “new” ones, give me a break, Wilder is three. How worn out do you really think his toys are?

TC on

At 3 I don’t think he’s going to get the concept of new toys verses old toys so let them donate what they want to donate.

I think there probably are some celebs that like to tell you all about their charitable work to make themselves look good but I don’t think every single one is like that. I think most are either asked by reporters, paps what they do and then I would imagine some are asked by the charity to mention their name to drum up publicity and hopefully more donations. In this case they were probably asked and the idea to donate old toys when you get new ones might not have crossed someone ones mind until they read this piece.

Even if Oliver was looking for publicity I wouldn’t care because in the end someone benefited from the toys and that’s all that matters.

meghan on

The important part of this story is that Oliver and Erin (is that her name? They didn’t bother to print it.) are planting the seeds of compassion and thinking of others at a young age. If you teach your children about these things at a young age, it will continue on throughout their lives. And who cares if the toys are used? Most kids have so many toys nowadays that they only end up playing with them a few times.

ILuvPerfectParents on

Wow that was very nice of them. Geesh some folks will find negative out of a rainbow.

Kate on

Nina, I don’t think it’s about making yourself or your children feel guilty for being wealthy or having enough things to be happy. I think Oliver (and a lot of other people too) realize that there are problems in society with other people being poor or lacking things, realizing that he has enough or maybe even more than enough, and realizing that giving away a few things he does not need will help someone else. Without the entire guilt thing. I think it was a good idea to give away some of the toys. For kids, it’s a way to reach the understanding that it’s okay and good to give to people who are in need.

minnie on

OK maybe it was just my family, but doesn’t everyone do this? I mean after xams or kiddies bdays have a clear out of the cupboards to make room for the new toys? Like a lot of people said, as you do it often the toys are in quite good nick, they can be given to someone else rather than throw out. Why is this news?

Nicole on

Why does it matter WHICH toys (new or old) he gave away? The point is that they’re teaching him to help others who have less than he does. We do the same thing with our son. Before Christmas and birthdays, we go through toys and decide which ones to donate. Local preschools take them, or daycares, etc. All that matters is your teaching them to give back. We also do the angel tree every year, and he picks out gifts for our angel child. Who cares what you’re giving back as long as you’re giving back?!

Luciana on

Geez, people are NEVER satisfied! Nothing that famous people do are good enough. Just chill out, women.

CelebBabyLover on

TC- Beautifully said! I also want to add, for the people who have mentioned that giving away his new toys rather than his old one may have made a bigger impact on teaching Wilder about giving….At three, he is likely just as attatched to his old toys as he is to his new ones! In fact, some very young kids will play with their new toys for a little while….and then go right back to their beloved old toys!🙂

So I think that giving away old toys probably taught Wilder just as much about giving as giving away his new toys would have!

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