My kids don’t play with toys.At times you might find my daughter carrying her doll around and my son will sometimes pick up his wrestler action figures and act out some WWF action but for the most part they aren’t interested in actually playing with their toys.
This can make Christmas hard.
We have a lot of family nearby and everyone wants to give my kids toys.
The problem is, most of those toys will get played with a handful of times and then that’s it.
It makes me feel guilty. I know that people take the time to go shopping for my kids and spend their hard earned money on those gifts so if they aren't played with I feel guilty.
But most of my kids toys take up space somewhere not being played with.
So really the best idea is not to buy toys at all.
There are so many ways to give gifts that don’t involve toys at all.
Trips to the museum, science centre or local art gallery are always a hit. Most kids love family outings and gifts like this give families an excuse to go. To this day, one of my most favourite gifts that we have received is a family membership to the Royal Ontario Museum. I have loved spending afternoons wandering the museum with my kids.
Theatre tickets are a great idea. I am thrilled that my kids enjoy the theatre as much as I do. Giving the gift of theatre gives kids exposure to art and gives families the opportunity to make memories together.
Movie passes. Most kids love going to the movies but it can cost a small fortune for a family of four. The nice thing about kids getting movie passes is that they can choose the movie they want to see and they feel so grown up going to the kiosk and buying their own ticket.
Gift cards to activity centres like trampoline parks, bowling alleys, mini golf courses or Playdium video game centres.
Magazine Subscriptions. What kid doesn’t love getting something in the mail? National Geographic for Kids, Chickadee, Chirp or even Spots Illustrated for kids are all good options. It gets them reading and gives them a monthly surprise.
Books. Books are the one thing I think kids can’t ever have too many of. We read every single day. Sometimes I read to my kids before bed, sometimes we all snuggle up in bed together, each of us reading silently to ourselves. Regardless of how it’s done my kids are always looking for new stories to read. I’m secretly thrilled when my son asks me to go to library or if he can use his birthday money to buy new books because he has “nothing to read”.
Let me make it very clear that I am not by any means anti-toy. Actually I think there is nothing wrong with getting kids toys at Christmas. What I don’t want is for my kids to get so many toys that they don’t play with anything. I don’t like the idea of things going to waste.
If you are looking for gifts that don’t involve toys for the kids in your lives there are so many options that kids will be just as excited to open up on Christmas Day.