This year, we’ve been going through each of the kid’s rooms and their playroom trying to organize and purge. The amount of STUFF that we all acquire is ridiculous. The kids don’t even realize most of what they have. My big push this year is less stuff and more time and experiences together.
Each of these clutter-free gifts ideas for children revolve around the idea that experiences and memories can be more important than material possessions. I hope you and the kids in your life enjoy these ideas.
1. A Day Trip
This could be to the local zoo, the pool, a hike or a picnic. Let your child choose a destination. This could be a fun excursion for the whole family or a special one-on-one trip. Find out what the kiddo in your life wants and make it happen. Children cherish moments they get undivided attention from adults so maybe a day trip is just the thing to make them feel special.
2. Gift Certificates
But not just the kind you give and then expect someone else to take the child to redeem. Put a gift card for ice cream or pizza in a beautiful envelope along with a note that guarantees you will take them on a special outing to spend it. This way the celebrated child gets a special treat and a fun experience. No clutter in your home!
3. Indoor Play Areas
If the weather isn’t nice enough for a day trip in the great outdoors consider taking your favorite little to the bowling alley, a skating rink (roller or ice) or a trampoline park. This is a great way to get out of the house and burn off energy even if your special birthday boy was born in the dead of winter.
4. Music or Dance Lessons
This is an especially good one for grandparents to give because each week when parents take children to lessons they can remind them that it is a holiday or birthday gift from Grandma and Grandpa who live 3,495 miles away. It’s a good way for long-distance relatives to remain a part of their favorite kid’s life in the day-to-day.
5. A Magazine Subscription
Like music or dance lessons, a subscription is a gift that keeps on giving. There are lots of kids magazines to choose from, some of the most popular being National Geographic Kids, American Girl, Boy’s Life, Highlights, and Ranger Rick. To keep this is a clutter-free gift, make sure and always recycle last month’s issue or donate it to your local library.
6. Mommy (or Daddy) and Me Classes
This could be a cooking, yoga, or craft class. Find out what’s available in your area and join in. By taking advantage of this type of class you can enjoy a project with your little one without worrying about the mess you might make at home. All the prep-work and clean-up is taken care of for you so really, this is a gift for you too.
7. Summer Camp
On the actual special day for your kiddo you can give them a card explaining what the real gift is – a week of fun at camp! There are so many types of camp to choose from. Sleep-away camp for older kids, day camp for younger kids. These days you can find a camp for almost every interest – computers, horses, sports, crafts, sailing, you name it!
8. Movie Tickets
You can pre-order the exact movie tickets you want or create your own decorative tickets to give as a gift and buy tickets on the day you’re actually taking them to the movies. Since this is a gift don’t skimp on the popcorn.
9. Handwritten Letters
It is always nice to know you are loved and appreciated. I know someone who writes birthday poems for her children each year and saves each one in a special book that the kids can take with them when they move out. This idea is fun because it builds on itself every year, plus it’s clutter-free in that there aren’t a million pieces of plastic covering your floor at the end of the day.
10. An Education Savings Account
This might not be the most exciting thing for kids at the time but trust me, when they are twenty years old and figuring out how to pay for higher education, this will definitely be appreciated. If you don’t want to limit the kids in your life to only spending this money on education you could open a regular savings account instead. Accounts like this guarantee that you always have a clutter-free gift option.