Christmas is coming and
the goose is getting fat kids everywhere are looking forward to what gifts they will receive. As parents, we want to load them up with lots and lots of gifts because we think it will make them happy! Toys are one of the most common gifts given to kids at Christmas time. But lo, sometimes the kids play with them for a day or two and forget about them altogether! And other times, they chose to play with the gift boxes rather than the actual gifts. Anyone with me on this one?
Have we really stopped to consider what is really best for our children’s growth and development? Or what the kids would really like to have? Here is a quick scenario: Our eldest daughter now 5, has been wanting a bike since she was about 18 months old. And she did have a little second-hand one just before she turned 2. We still have not officially gotten her a real bike yet. But you know what, when we moved here to our now home, the sellers left a new tricycle here and our daughter (3 years old at the time) took off on that thing like a pro. She loves it! But of course, she is now too old for that itty-bitty kiddy bike. We are in the process of getting her a new one for her birthday (turned 5 last week). My point is, I find that kids play with stuff they like more than what we think they would like. So take note of what seems to interest them and what’s best for their development before purchasing all kinds of random stuff for them.
While I am not against toys (my kids have lots), I think too many is overrated, brings clutter, and I’ll admit, sometimes a waste of money. Last Christmas, we considered before buying. There was not much toys being given (if any at all). About a week or two before Christmas, I took the girls to Walmart and had them pick out something they like from the toy section. They both picked out little dolls. And you know what, they played with the little dolls for as much as they can. And still do today. Because that is what they wanted. Then for Christmas gifts, we bought them beautiful clothing and artwork. These they really enjoyed. Even today, the art work is still very much appreciated. And of course, the clothing is worn. They still love them!
If you are wondering what to give to your kids, here are TEN of the best non-toy gifts you can give to them. These are written in no particular order. And note that our kids range from 11 months old to 5 years so use your judgement for older children.
1). A Specific Need: Is there something your child really needs? Not just a want but a true need. Maybe a new winter jacket to beat the cold or a new pair of shoes, or a new backpack or whatever other need they may have.
2). Books: Most kids I know love to read books or love having books read to them. Books with lots of beautiful photo illustrations are great for little ones. They love looking at the photos and figuring out what is happening. Recorded story books on CDs are always a favorite, too.
3). Favorite Outing Pass: Do your kids love going to a special place – the zoo, museum or waterpark? While this is not something tangible to hang unto they will remember the fun time they had. Have you ever heard a kid say that was the best toy car ever? Nope, but the best outing is often spoken off long after it has ended.
4). Clothing: One of the gifts we gave to our kids last year is clothing. Tip: buy them a size up and they can wear them for a while.
5). Class Enrollment: Enroll your kids in a specific class – let them go and learn something! Here are a few that I love and I have been considering for our girls: music lessons, swim class, gymnastic, or ballet. If you have little boys, you may consider a sport such as baseball, soccer, swim, music, or gymnastics, too. Our little boy is only 11 months old so these do not apply to him yet.
6). Art Work: Age appropriate coloring material or painting materials are good art resources for little ones. They can learn to express their abilities while creating art.
7). Craft Kit: Let’s face it – kids love creating stuff. A craft kit (age appropriate) would be a great gift for a little one. You can even create one by coordinating some crafty items together if you cannot find one in store that you think they would like.
8). Music: My kids love music and it is such a great way to introduce them to the ‘Arts’. A good CD along with a CD player would be a nice gift for a kid.
9). Gift Cards: While little kids may not understand gift cards, you can take them to the store to have them chose something they like.
10). Love: While this may be an intangible gift, it definitely is one of the best you can give to a kid. For we know, that love covers all things!
These are some of the best non-toy gifts you can give to a child for Christmas that I have considered.
What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!!