simple steps to a better life | the LüSa Organics Blog
101 (fun!) Toy-free Gift Ideas for Kids
Are you inspired to have a more simple holiday with a little less excess at the end of the season? Especially when it comes to your children?
You’re not alone.
Since I sharedthesetwoposts to inspire more simple celebrations and to share our family’s almost toy-free journey, I’ve gotten several emails asking for a bit more guidance.
Less toys? Yes! Less clutter? Please! Less consumption? Amen.
These ideas are easy to get on board with until it’s time to wrap presents or stuff stockings.
But then what?
Right. That’s when it gets sticky.
So my then 8 and 12 year-olds and I worked up a list of 101 fun, toy-free (and many clutter-free, consumption-free, stuff-free!) gifts to give to your littles this season.
GOING TOY-FREE REQUIRES A LITTLE THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX, SO BE OPEN TO NEW TRADITIONS AND A NEW WAY OF DOING THINGS.
Remember: just because it’s a new idea for your crew doesn’t mean it won’t be fan-freaking-tastic. You might find that you all love it more than you ever imagined.
A few thoughts before we embark:
We often go overboard in our culture. Way overboard. I’m as guilty of this as the next. But when I started to pull back on the gifts (and the toys) I expected my kids to be a bit disappointed. At least at first. But they weren’t. The first low-stuff year was voted the “best Solstice ever” by them both (That was the year they each received an ornament and a love coupon.) Go slowly and see how it feels to everyone. This isn’t a formula for a better way to do anything. It’s just how we do things around here. It might be a fit, it might not. Be open to either option.
Consider making a gift of something you might do anyway. It sounds silly, but if you child wants to take a class or go to camp, why not give that as a holiday gift? It would surely be appreciated. And your budget will be so darn happy about it.
And finally, consider the child. What does your little one love? What makes them tick? I’m betting it’s not only toys. Craft a gift that suits their passions. Because these are the gifts they will remember. A train-obsessed two year old would flip for a ride on a real train or a visit to a train museum. And a ballet-obsessed six year old would be wild with anticipation to see a ballet rehearsal or performance. You get the idea.
Many of the gifts listed below are items I have actually given my kids through the years. Obviously you have to consider the age and interests of your child, but this is a solid jumping-off place.
But enough chatter. Let’s get to it. (A handful of links follow. Some are afflinks, others are simply links to our favorite shops or products we love.)
101 TOY-FREE HOLIDAY GIFTS AND STOCKING STUFFERS
GIVE AN EXPERIENCE
These are among our family’s favorite gifts – to give, to receive, and to cash in!
Gift certificate to the skating rink
Gift certificate to restaurant, cafe, or ice cream shop
Movie theatre tickets
Love coupons for special dates together (one per month or one per season would be fun!)