If like us, you are looking to live with less stuff and more life, you will be interested in gifting ‘experience gifts’ to your children. Here is our guide to give the best experience gifts for kids.
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Experience Gifts Model Explained
I’m assuming you’ve found this blog because you want to give fewer things (toys) and enjoy more connection with your kids. To start with, I subscribe to the four presents model – with some variations!
If you are not familiar with it the 4 presents idea, basically it says that after 4 presents kids get overwhelmed and lose the joy of receiving. Therefore, if you limit your gifts to 4 – what they Want/Wear/Need and Read you will not buy them excess stuff, nor will they lose appreciation for what they receive.
My 4 presents model adds two practical additions: children’s experience and stocking fillers. Call it the six presents model or the Experience Gifts Model if you like. Grandparents can also choose from the following to gift.
- Want – This is the item that they ask for from Santa OR the item that Mum & Dad give.
- Wear – Something they can wear.
- Need – What do kids need in this day and age? I have one artist in my family who always “needs” a new sketchbook, pencils or art supplies. My son likes to make things with tape (duct tape is his current choice) so he will be getting a few rolls of this tape.
- Read – Even though books gather dust and take up space they are so beautiful! Our home is filled with books and I love it that way. No kindles for us.
- Experience – This post is here to help you pick the best experience gifts for kids – or help your folks know what to ‘give’.
These are always small bits and pieces that I have accumulated over the year; invariably I include a new toothbrush as bamboo eco-friendly toothbrushes wear out quite rapidly.
Best Experience Gifts For Kids
We do a lot each year – because we like to educate our kids using the world, they are blessed with many kid experiences and activities each year. So thinking of what ‘experience gift’ to give them is a bit hard for me, because I would likely ‘give’ it to them anyways.
Guidelines To The Best Experience Gifts For Kids
1. What is something that is for an individual child?
If you were to give a Lego set or Nerf gun to an individual, make sure the experience gift is something that is specifically for them. For example, my daughter is horse mad and her gift this year will be a horse ride in Margaret River.
2. Gifting time is vital.
Think about how your children lap up quality one-on-one time with you. In these busy lives, it can be very special to have one on one time with your children. My daughter absolutely adores when I organize a babysitter for her siblings, and we go out for coffee & milkshakes. This is most definitely a ‘gift’ to her, so consider gifting yourself.
3. What might we do anyway, but you can repurpose it as a gift?
A bit cheeky, I know. We are going to an adventure park after Christmas – something we would have done anyway. However, the kids are going to get a ‘voucher’ each which entitles them to do this. This will be a great Christmas gift experience for them.
The beauty of giving experiences as gifts is that you change the focus from things to experiences. You show that doing things is also special, and I think that it makes the children a little less entitled.
4. How to present a gifted experience?
What I do love about experience gifts – you don’t have to actually buy or do something, rather just prepare a voucher. It’s super easy! These are the vouchers I am giving my kids this year.
Gift Experiences And Birthdays
You can also give kids experience gifts for their birthday. The best experience gifts for kids are not just limited to Christmas gifts, birthday and other holidays work well too!
The most traditional experience gifts are birthday parties! They are a lot of work for parents – and invariably a lot of stress too – not to mention expense. As a result, I’ve offered the kid’s birthday parties bi-annually. Every second year is enough to organize a big party. However, my daughter who is a quieter sentimental type has opted now for a few years to have an experience rather than have a party.
Therefore, I have adopted the approach of having a birthday party OR experience. My daughter adores visiting the Animal Farm near Denmark Western Australia, and we have visited twice now for her birthday, rather than have a birthday celebration.
Simple Birthday Celebrations
With 9 years of parenting under my belt, my children’s birthday celebrations are getting simpler and simpler. Why, because simple birthday parties are easier, less costly and are just as enjoyable for the kids.
For example, we will be having cake and a play in the garden in celebration of our babe’s 1st birthday. It will be a simple event and with this approach:
- Cake means you don’t have to prepare food
- A play means – no party games
Party games are hard to organize for this Mumma; in addition, they disrupt the natural flow of play which is such a delightful part of childhood. Party games also have winners and losers, invariably causing tears from someone.
- No presents, we are including this on the invite. “Our babe is blessed with an amazing community and has many things to wear and play with. We’d appreciate most your presence (not presents) and a plate to share.”
As a result, there is not a pile of presents and things you don’t need (believe me, with two older children we’ve been there and done that).
Best Gift Experiences For Kids – The Verdict
Gifting experiences to kids is a great way to give time with yourself and place a value on doing things together that your kids love. It avoids getting another present that the child discards after a while, or even worse, hardly acknowledges because they have got too many presents.
We hope that sharing these easy to understand tips will help you give the best Christmas gift experiences this year.
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