It doesn’t matter how many kids you have. When any holiday or birthday rolls around, it seems like your home becomes an explosion of gifts, clutter, and more stuff that you have to house.
The Home Sanctuary team has gift giving on our minds lately as all of the THS kids have spring/summer birthdays. How do we give our kids gifts that they truly love and are excited about that won’t be broken, lost, or forgotten in a sea of other toys in two days?
Our top 5 Clutter Free Gift Ideas:
1.Go in on one larger group gift
Instead of 5 people buying 5 smaller gifts, pool your money and buy one larger gift that you know will get used and loved. A trampoline ,jungle gym, water slide,basketball hoop, etc. are all often somewhat expensive and cost more than what one person would normally spend. Pool all your money together, and you can buy something that your loved one will not only use, but most likely remember far longer than another set of Legos or slime-making kit.
2. Buy a membership/camp/tickets for an activity the child would love
Our kids BEG for tickets, season passes, and memberships to an exhaustive list of places (Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World, Louisville City FC, The Kentucky Center, Derby Dinner Playhouse, concerts, sporting events, etc.). Purchasing these items often require a little planning ahead, but are WORTH it. A couple of years ago Kari’s family planned ahead and decided they were going to give all the girls in their family tickets to see Taylor Swift when she came to Louisville. Talk...About...Excitement! They were able to give a truly meaningful gift and create wonderful memories as a family together.
3. Something they actually need
While this may sound boring, it doesn’t have to be. Does your child need new swim gear? Take whatever they need and make it a theme. Pair the swim suit with some goggles, flip flops, a towel and a new raft. Put it all in a cute swim bag, and we guarantee your child will have a smile on their face. Or, buy the swimsuit and day passes to a local swim club that your child can bring a friend to. Better yet, rent a hotel room with a pool for a night and let your child have a friend spend the night, and they can swim to their hearts’ content. Be creative. Use your imagination. But buying your child something they actually need, and spicing it up a little bit, allows you to give a gift that is fun and functional.
4. Subscription box/Classes
Does your child love to read? Do STEM projects? Knit and crochet? You can buy subscription boxes or classes for almost all of these activities and MANY more. Just Google subscription boxes and your mind will be blown away with all that is out there (Amazon has quite a few to choose from). Last year Katie got her daughter a subscription box to FoodStirs and every other month she gets a baking box delivered to their door. They also have attended local baking classes (at places like Turnip the Beet) and have made some delicious desserts. These boxes and classes have been a great way for them to spend quality time together (no devices allowed except to play some good music ) AND her daughter has learned a ton about baking, kitchen safety, and math. Win win win!
5. Fitbit/activity tracker/exercise class
Last but not least, give your child a gift that teaches them the importance of MOVING their bodies! Activity trackers are a fun way for kids to learn about getting up and moving. They love to see how many steps they can take in a day. Or what about teaching your child mindfulness by taking them to a yoga class? Do they love to dance or play instruments? Take a dance class together or if your kids are younger sign them up for a Music Together Class. We promise the adults will have just as much fun as the kids!
All in all, gift buying should be fun and bring you JOY. It should not be stressful. We can honestly say that we DO NOT always follow the 5 tips from above. Sometimes time and money win out over trying to be clutter free. Sometimes it is your children giving the gift, and they couldn’t care less if the gift gets lost in a day or two. They just want to see their friend’s smile when they open the gift. Let us leave you with this. THE TARGET DOLLAR SPOT. You can put together a phenomenal gift from this section. Let your child pick out 5 or 10 items to put inside a bag (that you can also get at the dollar spot, and, let’s be real- not everything in the dollar section only costs a dollar). Sometimes kids just want to be kids and they want ALL the bouncy balls, bubbles, and stickers their little hands can get.