There are so many wonderful and thoughtful alternatives to buying yet one more train, one more puzzle, one more video game, one more doll, one more of anything.
Are you ready to try giving a nontraditional gift, but you’re worried of breaking the mold? Don’t worry. Children can learn to appreciate non-toy gifts and the gift of your time. You simply have to decide to try, and then show them how fun these non-toy gifts truly are.
Not sure what sort of out-of-the-box things you should consider doing or getting? Ask parents what they prefer for their kids. I’m betting they will be thrilled and relieved that you ask for their input before you buy your next gift. Think of how appreciative and excited they’ll be that you want to help them avoid more toy clutter!
If you are the parent, consider sending an email to your parents, siblings and others who generously give to your children. Provide alternate ideas to help them make other choices. They likely just assume toys are the one and only option.
With it already being October, send your email soon to have the biggest impact on slowing the influx of toys during gift giving season.
6 Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Children
- Memberships. The Science Museum, Children’s Museum, YMCA or fitness club, zoo, local water park.
- Classes and Camps. Swimming, dancing, martial arts, cooking, art, horseback riding, skiing, golfing, soccer, football, basketball, tennis, volleyball and other athletic interests, along with music, singing and theater.
- Events. Tickets for concerts, plays, sporting events, movies. Pay attention to what kids are talking about and interested in to get ideas for events they’d love to attend.
- Activities or “dates”. Bowling, skating, skiing, golfing or mini-golfing, swimming or a day at the water park, a trip to the movies, a visit to the library, or an outing to get ice cream.
- Gift cards. Restaurants, malls (let the older kids pick out what they want), coffee, cupcakes/bakery, gas, manicures, pedicures, haircuts.
- Subscriptions. Highlights, National Geographic Kids, Sports Illustrated Kids, American Girl, Ranger Rick. There are magazines for all ages and interests. Give a gift that encourages reading and satisfies children’s love of receiving mail.
Oh, and one more thought. Remember that there are children in your community who don’t have an abundance of toys. Teaching your children how to be generous with others is a gift in itself. Help them be generous by donating their old toys to others.
Which of these non-toy gift ideas speaks to you? What other ideas can you think of? Leave a comment below to share your suggestions.