Okay, I know, It’s not even Halloween yet and I’m already mentioning the major Holiday season! But, my son has a December birthday, so between the two we start our planning early. Many parents love this time of year, but I’ve heard more and more that parents want to move away from the plastic overload and focus on something…. else…. but what?
I understand the worry completely. I’m looking around my home now at the abundance of toys that he’s received as gifts from various people, that he barely plays with. Of course he loves his legos and Minecraft figures, but he’s also the type to forgo the beach toys and play with sand and seaweed instead. He’ll pick up a stick in the woods and make it part of his pretend play, more than he’ll pick up most of the toys in his room.
So what do you get a child as a present, when you want to avoid the commercialized plastic toys that inevitably turn into clutter? Here are 5 alternatives that just might do the trick.
- An Experience. My parents get my son a membership to the Museum of Science in Boston for Christmas. This is the perfect gift for him, because we go several times a year for fun and for homeschool field trips. Your experience gift could be a museum, a trip, hiking, a day of paintball, a class – the list goes on. Basically, find something your child will love to do outside of the home. You can add to this idea with gifts that go along with the experience. Luggage and a new passport holder, a travel journal, a new paintball gun, a new apron for the cooking class. Really, the possibilities are endless!
- Art Supplies. If your child is an artist then you know how many times a year you need to restock supplies! For the holidays, think of things that are maybe more expensive, that would really make for a special treat. A brand new sketchbook, wrapped canvas for paintings, professional brushes, or Copic markers are just a few examples.
- Nature Exploration Supplies. This can tie back into experiences, but if there’s something your child will need for your outdoor adventures, this could make for a special gift as well! A well made compass, a nature journal, a container for observing and releasing bugs, and maybe even a tent! These gifts can be used again and again for camping, hikes, or even in your back yard.
- A Fort Building Kit. Remember the days of making blanket forts? I still do it! Of course, it’s now with my son. You can find pre-made fort making kits online, or you can put together your own with rope, sheets, twinkle lights, and other materials. Package it nicely, and presto!
- A Camera. Okay, so I’m a little biased on this one. But there’s something beautiful about seeing the world through your child’s eyes. There are cameras that are suited for any child from toddlerhood to adulthood. Print the pictures they take and add them to an album or scrapbook, so they can look back on them for years to come. Their photographs can also make wonderful presents for grandparents! It’s a win-win all around.
I hope these tips helped in your holiday planning, and that you have a wonderful string of holidays.
PS: If you’d like to book a November session for holiday cards, please CONTACT me and book your day! I do not work in December, so the November dates are the last ones available for holiday cards and photo gifts.