It’s a question we all hear from the relatives … What should we get the kids for Christmas this year?
Your house is probably already cluttered with toys and come Christmas morning, you can expect even more toys littering every nook and cranny of your home. So the next time the relatives ask what they should buy the kids, try one of these ideas instead.
We promise none of these Christmas gift ideas require batteries, sing songs or feel like razors when you accidentally step on them!
Annual memberships to zoos, a local pool, waterpark, amusement parks, play centres and other attractions in your area provide an experience outside of the house.
2. A world globe
Kids are never too young to learn about geography and a globe is an excellent teaching tool. Plus, they are lots of fun to spin around and make a beautiful addition to any bedroom.
3. Classes and gift cards to recreational activities
Give the gift of movement with a term of swimming lessons, ballet classes, karate, skating, cricket or indoor soccer. This gives your little one a chance to experience the activity and see if he likes it. If so, then you can easily sign up for another term or for the full year.
All children love getting mail so they’d be pretty excited if they received a subscription box service – and there’s pretty much something for every age and interest. Current favourites of ours are Postix Sticker Club for sticker-obsessed kids and My Creative Box for crafty kids. Basically, a subscription is the gift that keeps on giving all year round.
5. Personalised items
Ask the grandparents to sort out the start of school for you with a personalised hat, backpack and labels. This just made your January so much easier. Check out Stuck on You and Hippo Blue for excellent labels and personalised products.
6. Coupon book
Suggest Nana create a booklet of vouchers with various activities to do during the year. For example, one voucher could be used for “Free ice cream with Nana” while another could be for “Trip to the movies with Papa.” Include sleepovers at Nana’s, special outings and different activities that the kids love to do with their grandparents, such as baking cookies or going to feed the ducks.
Let the kids read through the different coupons and decide when they want to cash them in. You can get an editable downloadable version at My Party Design.
7. Sports equipment
If your little one does dance, then why not consider a new tutu and pair of ballet shoes? If your big guy likes soccer, then add soccer cleats and a new pair of socks to the list for the grandparents. If the kids take swimming lessons, then how about a new towel, togs and goggles?
8. A homemade book
Design a personalised scrapbook with photos and mementos of different things that took place over the last year. Your kids will love looking back at the pictures. We did this with our son a few years ago and he still loves it. Plus, it was a great way to teach him to recognise basic words like ‘Mum’, ‘Dad’, ‘car’ and ‘swim’.
Tools to help in the shed, with the gardening or tools for art and craft time are always popular with little ones. Anything that allows them to be creative and indulge in grown-up activities will be a hit.
Just, no glitter. Please, no glitter.
10. Wall stickers and bedroom decor
Give the kids a chance to liven up their bedrooms and decorate the walls with a beautiful set of wall decals or canvas prints – these can be easily changed out as they grow. We’re loving the fabric decals available from Wondermade.
11. A watch or jewellery
Yes, these days we mostly tell the time by looking at our phones – but you can teach your kids how to tell time by giving them a watch. This gift will also teach them how to look after something they can own for years to come. Ditto for a piece of jewellery. Obviously it’s not a great idea to give young children anything that you’re not prepared for them to lose!
12. Money box
There are so many adorable piggy banks on the market and it’s a great learning tool for teaching children about money.
In the new year, get your children to participate in a weekly money saving challenge so by the end of the year, they can open their money box up and really see the results of their saving efforts.
13. A garden set
You can also pick up everything you need to design a garden including seeds, a large container and soil, and spend some time making a kid-friendly backyard vegetable patch. Again, this is a great activity to do with budding green thumbs that is not only educational, but will remain fun for months to come (or weeks if you are like me and cannot keep a plant alive for the life of you).
14. Telescope or microscope
They are scientific. So they count as a non-toy. End of story. Plus, adults will love playing with these non-toys too.
15. And, finally, bubble wrap
Or a big empty box. Because honestly, have you ever seen the joy a small child gets out of sitting in a box popping bubble wrap?!