A slightly above-average achiever's guide to parenting
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Holiday Shopping Gift Guide- The Kids Edition
December 1, 2014
Alright lovelies. The holidays are around the corner, and it means it's time for PRESENTS!! I actually prefer buying gifts for others rather than receiving gifts (okay, sometimes getting gifts is awesome). So I've compiled a few gift guides that I'll be rolling out in the next couple of weeks that give you some ideas for gifting in your life.
This first edition is gifts for kids. To be clear, Chewie has no idea what's going on, so we'll likely give him a lot of empty boxes. But you may have family and friends who want to give gifts, so here are some great options.
I'll also add, that I heard two great "mantras" for gift giving (to keep it all in check, because it can spiral out of control). The first was my friend who got 3 gifts every Christmas, because as her mom put it "Jesus only got 3 gifts, what makes you think you're any better than him". The other (perhaps less snarky) idea was my friend who always got four gifts for Christmas, and they were always "Something you want, something you need, something you'll wear, and something you'll read". I thought those were both good sentiments that I will try to keep in mind over the holidays. So with that, bring on the Presents.
Gifts That Aren't Things
We all have too much crap. I know that's an odd thing to say before starting a gift guide, but it's true. That's why my first stop for gifts is often not a tangible thing. Here are some of my favorites non-thing gifts for kids:
Memberships or Tickets to the Zoo, Aquarium, Children's museum
Movie, theater, sports or or music tickets
Passes to go bowling, swimming, roller skating, mini golfing
Ice Cream vouchers
A trip to Chuckie Cheese or Dave and Busters (you can even buy the tokens ahead of time for something to wrap)
A packet of tickets for the Greenway Carousel
A night at a local hotel (particularly if it has an indoor pool)
A Kiva Loan- for older kids, this is a great way to show kids how a loan (and money) works, by letting them give a microloan to a worthy cause. Loans start at 25 dollars and go to people in need all over the world who are trying to to grow businesses, go to school, switch to clean energy or other worthy causes. These individuals don't have access to traditional lending institutions, so they have to rely on these microloans from Kiva. Once the loan is repaid (and the good work done!) your giftee gets their money back and can spend it on what they want or reinvest. This is one of my absolute favorites to give.
Gifts That ARE Things (but are awesome anyway)
Kindle Tablet For Kids: Alright, this is actually what we're asking Grandma and Grandpa for (aka, the Grandwookies) this year. It's a tablet that Amazon claims is kid-proof. If it breaks, they take it back, no questions asked. It's 150 dollars and also comes with a year subscription to amazon prime, so you get access to their entire movie and tv show library. It also comes with a kid-friendly operating system (whatever that means) and has a bunch of parental controls. We're headed on a long plane flight over the holidays, so I figured it was time for a tablet. Chewbacca has seen very little TV, so I think something like this might blow his mind...or at least will buy us a few hours on the plane... I hope.
The Little Tykes Activity Garden: Our nanny had a "best list" of toys she had used with her little charges in the past that were big hits, and this garden was at the top of the list. She pointed out that it's something that can grow with the kids, because right now, Chewie is amazed that he can open and close the door, but pretty soon he'll be interested in the shapes and the smaller details. This would be a great request for a parent to get as "big" item to have under the tree.
My Very Own House Cottage: I'm not sure why, but even before I had kids, I loved these cardboard houses. You get to draw all over them, and then play in them. And at 30 dollars, it makes a big impression on a small wallet. And the parents will be thankful they can recycle it when they're done.
Musical Block Sets: Also from our nanny's "must have list", these come in nice non-hideous colors (unlike a lot of kids toys) and have musical attributes and are also great for stacking. Plus, I'm a sucker for wood toys.
Art Set: Also for older kids, I remember getting one of these one year and being SO excited. As an adult, I'm kind of shocked it's only 9 dollars, becasue when I was a kid, I thought my parents had to mortgage the house to get me so many crayons. I love any gifts that can allow you to be creative, so anything along these lines is a big hit by me.
So my list might be skewed to older kids (because as I said, Chewie is only getting boxes this year, so the only presents I've needed to research were for our nieces and nephew), but what presents will you be getting for your kids? Or rather, what presents will you be asking the grandparents to get for your kids?