We have a small cape cottage, with a lot of charm, but not a lot of storage, and I’m constantly tripping over my toddler’s plethora of toys! After my daughter was born, all the gear and goods that come along with having an infant, and now a toddler, our cozy cottage has become more cluttered than cozy. Even amidst our pleas to family and friends to buy her pretty much anything else, (diapers, anyone?) she has received mostly toys for birthdays and holidays which has really thrown a monkey wrench in my plan to keep our small space organized.
Here is a list of 10 things to buy kids
instead of toys:
This is at the top of my list because it is a constant need in my home. With a growing toddler I constantly have to replace a size or purchase new items for the changing seasons. Kid’s clothes are very expensive and wear out quickly, so receiving that as a gift is financially helpful.
2. Magazine subscriptions
My daughter recently received a Highlights magazine subscription and has absolutely loved each edition she has gotten so far. This is the perfect gift idea if you’re looking to purchase something educational. I love it as a parent because it provides kids with vivid stories and activities like coloring, puzzles and sticker pages that will keep your little ones entertained for hours.
Keeping with the educational theme books also make great gifts. You can find children’s books about any topic so it’s easy to find something your child will enjoy; also, many books come with other perks like an included poster, stickers, plush, or even a matching DVD. Inscribing your name, date and the occasion makes it a great keepsake.
4. Gift cards or a certificate
Giving the child a gift card to the movies or a favorite restaurant can be a great way to spend time together. Allowing them to choose the movie they would like to view, or going to dinner together makes the child feel special. Another option is giving a certificate for a pet that the whole family can pick out together.
5. Membership to a local zoo or aquarium
This is a great gift for children that love animals and enjoy being outside. Unlimited visits are the best feature, but many zoos and aquariums have special events for members only, and often membership will include free guest passes and free parking.
6. Passes to a local theme park
This is one of the best gifts to give a kid! It gives them an opportunity to burn off some of that endless energy, and is good exercise. Many theme parks also offer a water park, and endless dining or snack options, so plan ahead to spend the day. There are usually kiddie rides and play areas as well as slower paced rides like a train, or ferris wheel that is suitable for parents to enjoy with their young children.
7. Paying for a class or lesson program
This gift option is very versatile, from music, art, or dance lessons, to a one time paint your own pottery cup class this gives you many different options to satisfy any child’s interests.
8. Learning tools
This is a great option for kids of all ages. For toddler age you could get a chalkboard with chalk, an easel with finger paints, or a desk to draw or color at. For older kids, science kits, or cooking kits are popular and educational.
9. Family experiences
This option would include tickets to the fair or a festival, taking a train ride, going to a sporting event, or even going on vacation! From simple to extravagant there is an option in this category to fit every budget.
10. Money towards a savings account
This is perhaps the easiest gift to give, as no shopping is required. This is a great option for elderly relatives or friends who may have a difficult time traveling to the store or shopping. Paired with a piggy bank this also makes an ideal first birthday gift to kick start their savings account.