In case you couldn’t tell from this post from last week, I am very keen on experiential type gifts.Now don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the joy on my kids’ faces when they open a toy that they’ve been dying for, just as much as the next parent!
But I’m sure I’m not alone when I spend so much money on a toy that they just had to have, only to find it broken from misuse or practically brand new because they “forgot” about it!
Not to mention those moments when someone asks what the kids want for a birthday or Christmas, and I don’t have an answer because they already have what feels like everything.
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So to break the habit, we have begun to ask family to give experience type gifts and today, I want to share with you some of our favorite non-toy gifts!
1. Highlight Magazines– My boys have been getting these for the last five years from their Papa and absolutely LOVE them! They love the stories, crafts, hidden pictures and jokes in each magazine! Every time we check the mail, they feel so special for getting something just for them!
2. Lessons for an activity or sport they like – All three of my kiddos have gotten swim, baseball, or dance lessons as a gift. These are awesome because the kids are being active and learning as well as enjoying something they want to do!
3. Special one-on-one time – This is one of my favorites! For this gift we do something really special that they wouldn’t normally get to do even if it was just the two of us! For my daughter’s birthday, I took her to get her first haircut and pedicure! We often get time for just us girls, but we wouldn’t typically do these things, so doing them for her birthday made it extra special and much more of a gift!
Here are a few more ideas for this gift:
Movie date – And you can even get lunch or dinner too!
A shopping trip – Gift them a gift card and offer to take them to go spend it!
Paint activity for the creative ones – Pottery painting places and canvas painting are all the rage right now! Everything is provided and you don’t even have to know how to paint!
Build-A-Bear – Take them to go build a stuffed animal! Such a blast for the smaller crowd!
4. Subscription to an online learning program – Programs like ABCmouse make learning so much fun. Kids think they’re playing a game and don’t even realize they’re learning! And as a homeschooling parent, this is great for when I don’t want to give into screen time but need another activity to keep a preschooler busy!
5. Tickets to a live show or sports game – We have both gifted and received this type of gift! We have gone to an Angels baseball game, Paw Patrol Live and Disney on Ice! These are the activities that the kids talk about non-stop for months and months! And when they see pictures, they seem to instantly remember every detail!
6. Subscription boxes – These are another gift that just keeps on giving…in a good way! Companies likeKiwi Crates offer multiple level boxes from young babies to the teenage years! Everything is provided to do the activities! And kids again feel so special getting something in the mail each month just for them!
And if you must get something for them to open, try:
7. Craft kits – Your local craft store probably has an entire isle dedicated to kids craft kits for both boys and girls! Then suggest doing or learning the new craft together!
8. Games and puzzles – Offer to spend some time teaching them the game or putting the puzzle together with them! Gifts like these become even more endearing when they get to experience the gift with the one who gave it to them! They may never remember the specific game or what the puzzle looked like, but they WILL remember the one who gave it to them and played it with them!
All of these ideas, yes even the ones you can physically open, are so much better than a toy that will eventually break or get lost or forgotten about, all because you have personalized it! I know it sounds cliche but it is so true that kids spell love T-I-M-E!
So when you get a gift for them, make sure it’s a way you can spend some quality time with them too!
As much fun as it is to see them open a new toy they’ve been wanting so much, it’s way more fun to listen to them talk about new experiences and the memories they’ve created! Memories they will more than likely cherish for years to come!