At some point in parenthood, you may find yourself under a mountain of toys. If you aren't a parent, you may not realize just how quickly toys add up! This is especially problematic if space is limited, and the house is low on closets and storage solutions.
Toys always seem to rear their ugly head around the holidays. The kiddos will be acquiring new, and some (okay most) of those gadgets may not be used much beyond the New Year. Maybe you’re looking for some alternative gift ideas for the young ones that won’t go to waste!
- Exercise fun - Okay, so a set of dumbbells isn’t ideal for the child that wants nothing to do with good health. But they can certainly find entertainment in fun fitness! Mini trampolines are a great option for indoor use, or a larger one for a great backyard space. Maybe a basketball hoop, jump rope or a new bike would be just the ticket to getting their behinds outside. With the hype of American Ninja Warrior, rope lines and outdoor “ninja kits” might be good for the obstacle course enthusiast.
- Journals - I’ve never known a kid that doesn’t like to draw or write at some point in their childhood. Young ones love the idea of a personalized journal, maybe even with a lock on it for private keeping. There are an abundance of prompt journals available now, with prompts to records the story of their lives, write opinions or favorites on a variety of subjects and even visual prompts to fill and color.
- Family games - Conversations happen when groups come together with uninterrupted time spent focused on a goal. Try a game with “Family Dinner Box of Questions” which gives the opportunity for everyone’s voice to be heard. You could even make your own prompts with printed questions that you think of contained within a fun durable jar. Kids will love the opportunity to talk about themselves and share their ideas.
- Books - This seems like the most obvious non-toy to give, but a little creativity goes a long way. In the car a lot? Consider an audio book subscription that syncs reading progress across devices. Personalized books are a win with the younger kiddos, while a magazine subscription might be just right for the older ones. My favorites were Highlights (for a series of ages) and Discover.
- Clothes - A complete necessity and not the favorite for kiddos, but not a gift that has to be boring. I remember investing my hard earned money in my first pair of Dr. Martens leather boots (which I may still have tucked away in the closet). Or, consider the specialty clothing that your kids might need for soccer, baseball, dance, gymnastics. It’s a great time to invest on these items.
- Time Spent “How To” - A bit more outside the box, consider the gift that cannot be wrapped. Does your child show interest in baking? Try a baking cookbook with some easy recipes, an apron and a rolling pin. Extra points for following through and making it an enjoyable experience for you both to do beside each other. Maybe they want to be more hands on and would appreciate a building project to do? Craft a toy chest or bench some weekend. Or time outdoors getting dirty with a gardening project? The possibilities are really endless.
Holidays and Home go hand in hand. Think about the gifts you’ll be giving this year and the memories that they will make! There’s nothing like the feel of a great holiday season with time spent, when you consider the return on investment that you might be getting from some of your gifts this year.