Kids and toys.
I don’t know about you guys, but more than once a year I feel as though we are drowning in toys….half of which our kids don’t play with!
Sometimes, they just don’t need anymore toys. So what gift options are you left with when holidays and birthdays roll around?
I’m glad you asked! Here are a few ideas to help you out!
1. Scavenger hunt
Prep and plan out a scavenger hunt! Use a theme, the outdoors if possible, and the winner gets to pick a new movie to rent (or whatever you want the prize to be!) It can easier be adjusted for kids of all ages, even fun for adults as well.
2. Drive in movie
You can either take them to an actually drive in movie theater (which is a blast!), or for little ones, set it up in the living room using cardboard boxes (diaper boxes work great by the way). Let them decorate the boxes and choose a candy, then pop some popcorn and you’re ready to go!
3. Online subscriptions
These are great for kids who like more than one option and the freedom to choose for themselves. Video games subscriptions, audio books, digital books, music….there are many out there! And no clutter included.
4. Tickets or passes
Plan a future event to share with your kid. Baseball game, amusement park, concert, ice show….plan it out, give them the tickets, and enjoy the time with them. I guarantee that they will remember it for years to come.
5. Plan a mystery trip.
This may not work great on Christmas Day, but any other time of the year would! Plan out a beach day, hike, sledding day, etc… but don’t tell them! Pack the car ahead of time, load up the kids, and let them guess the whole way there. Include special foods, games, and let them enjoy the spontaneity.
6. Bedroom makeover
I remember that time when I really wanted a more “grown up” bedroom (I think I was 12…), and it was so much fun changing a few things to make that happen! A little paint, a new bedspread, updated artwork, and you have given your kid a haven that is really “them”. Takes more time and effort than money, but definitely worth it!
7. Interest baskets
Spa theme: soaps, scrubs, bath bombs, nail care, face masks
Movie night theme: list of movie rental choices, popcorn, candy
Gardening theme: seeds, trowel, gloves, watering can, hat
Beach theme: shovels, castle molds, goggles, inflatable raft
Christmas theme: new holiday mug, hot chocolate, marshmallows, candy canes
Art theme: coloring books, sketch books, paint, colored pencils, pencil sharpener
8. Coordinated gifts
My kids are little (all under five), so right now, they all like to play with the same toys. This is sometimes helpful because we can give them all toys from the same category (blocks, cars, trains, etc…) The likelihood of them being played with goes way up, and usually does not require more room to store (all the trains in one basket, blocks in another, etc…) The kids are also more likely to play with another. Yay!
9. A tradition that is theirs.
This may work better for slightly older kids. Start a tradition that is only between you and your child (or each child, if you have more than one). It can be anything…Christmas Eve you get coffee/cocoa together, share an annual journal that you both write in and exchange, get up to see the sunrise on their birthday together, watch a Monk marathon during the week before Christmas….Anything so long as it’s just for you and them.
My mother and I used to be the first two up and about every Christmas morning. We would snuggle on the couch with our cups of tea and enjoy the tree lights. Those moments are more precious to me than anything that was actually under the tree. Those moments belonged to only her and I.
10. Tell them you love them.
It may not seem as exciting as a wrapped present, but those words will cling to them in the years to come. Tell them you love them. Tell them why you’re proud of them. Tell them about the first moment you saw their face, gave them their name, held them in your arms. Tell them those things, even if they seem embarrassed (hey, it’s our prerogative as parents to do that!). Pray over them. Say the words out loud so they can hear.
Because they do hear.
What are some of your favorite gifts to give?