A few years ago, we started asking for experience gifts for our kids.
With 4 kids, 3 sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a partridge in a pear tree, we realized a while ago that everyone getting the kids toys for birthdays and Christmases would just be a lot.
We had some initial ideas like ice cream dates but all of our family lives in different states than we do and so ice cream dates aren’t something kids and family can enjoy very often or close to Christmas like we’d all like.
So every year I try to think of more ideas and to use those ideas to impact how we see an experience gift.
Experience Gifts for Kids
Quality Time Together
Give the gift of quality time. Hang out. Take them to the play ground. Go for a walk. These are all AWESOME (and free!) options for quality time.
More ideas: draw together, talk, play a board game, card game, video game, eat together, make hot chocolate, pancakes, dance, sing, walk, run, play tag, jump on the trampoline, swing, hang out, go to the playground, go for a hike, go for a bike ride, roller skate, roller blade, skate board, jump rope, draw side walk chalk, play in the sand box, read a book, look at pictures,…
Add ice cream, breakfast, bowling, mini golf, or maybe a ball game or play to an outing and voila! Date!
When I was a kid, my favorite uncle would take me on a date every time he came into town. We’d get coffee (or warm milk for me) and a muffin. He’d take me to a shop and when I broke the glass figurines he would buy them for me. (HA! true story). Want to know why he was my favorite uncle? He spent time with me.
More ideas: ice cream, breakfast, bowling, mini golf, ball game, swimming, water park, zoo, museum, dinner, movie, coffee/hot cocoa, laser tag, arcade, take a class, see a play, lunch, …
If your family does sleepovers, a fun “Camp Aunt and Uncle Weekend” is a great gift! Or go camping or put up a tent in the back yard. All of these make my kids wildly happy.
Depending what they have in their area, there’s zoo, aquariums, science museums, children’s museums, and lots more. While you may not be able to go with them all the time, they’ll love telling you about it and it’s a ready made outing for when you are together.
Have an aspiring ballerina, karate ninja, or equestrian on your hands? Help pay for the lessons! (A great gift to open with this is the outfit, books, or supplies they need to participate – HOW FUN!)
More ideas: music lessons, sports teams, karate, gymnastics, ballet, swimming lessons, horseback riding, …
Who doesn’t love getting mail? It’s fun to read the magazines AND anticipate their monthly arrival.
Monthly Subscription Boxes
Want something they can look forward to and experience every month? Monthly subscription boxes are perfect! There are SO many to choose from! Art, science, cooking, family worship time – seriously the options continue to grow ALL THE TIME for these.
Two we’ve gotten and LOVE: Seeds Family Worship Box and Activity Ark
Experience Toys and Supplies
Think outside of the normal toy box.
My kids are SUPER into drawing videos from Art for Kids Hub and have literally dried out all their markers and gone through reams of paper. I’m asking for art supplies! Bonus : I’ll be sending packets of art out to grandparents and who doesn’t love that?
Also, check with mom and dad first, but if the kids are interested in basketball and a hoop would mean they could practice? Awesome. Shin guards or cleats for soccer? Right on. A bathing suit for swimming lessons? Yes, please!
What experience gifts have you given, received, or thought about? I’d love to have more ideas stored up for my kids, nieces, and godchildren!