Christmas is coming…and if you are trying to lead a simpler life, the “stuff” of Christmas gets you down…gifts you don’t need and more clutter in the house. Especially after you have spent lots of time and energy de-cluttering, you don’t want to add more stuff. For adults, this seems to work OK…you can tell people that you have everything you need or you can put a few useful and beautiful things on your list that you would actually like to have. But for kids, this can be extra hard. People like to give gifts to kids…they like to give kids toys that will get a grand reaction upon the opening. But as a parent that means you will either have to find a place to put all.this.stuff or get rid of some stuff (usually much loved stuff since you have already been through the de-cluttering process)…all this causes stress for you AND for your kids.
Here is a gift guide for the kids in your life. We either have these things and really like them or they are things I am putting on the list for my kids this year.
Audio Stories are great for kids and work for a variety of ages. They are great for long car trips but also for when some quiet, chill time is needed at home. It will keep their minds busy while their hands can be doing something else (drawing/coloring, play dough, knitting, blocks/building, etc). For even less stuff, encourage the gift as an MP3 download on a USB drive!
Educational Toys and Games are a great way to sneak extra learning into playtime.
- Spot It Jr! Animals and Spot It! On the Road
- We have both of these and love them! The animal one can be played by kids as young as two, as long as they know their animals and can speak clearly enough to be understood. This is a good game for all ages to play together and is quick for use with limited time. This sports one also looks fun!
- Origami is a great creative activity that involves following directions and fine motor skills. This Christmas one looks fun as well as this basic one and this one of animals.
- Mighty Mind
- We have this and use it often…the magnetic version is helpful, especially for younger children.
- Magazine Subscriptions: Ranger Rick, Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr.
- We get all three of these magazines and the kids love getting mail each month.
- Kids Cook Real Food E-Course
- We have been slowly working our way through this. The kids are enjoying it and often ask when we can do another lesson, also it is a gift to you because your will get help in the kitchen!
- Lumosity Subscription
- We like to play the free games but a subscription would be nice…these are video games I can support!
- Harmonica or for more than one child get a harmonica set like this one or this one.
- Encourage the love of music and save the ears of those who will listen to all the “practicing”! Getting a set in keys that sound well together, will help the listeners if there is more than one child!
Creative Consumables are useful to have because they encourage creativity AND get used up!
- White Paper/Sketch Pads
- Construction Paper
- Washable Markers/Colored Pencils
- Gel Pens
- Watercolor Pencils/Watercolor Paints & Brushes
- Watercolor pencils are a fun twist on paints, but best for kids over 6.
- Washi Tape
- Glitter Glue
- Fun like glitter but a whole lot less messy!
- Glow Sticks
- Water Bottle or Travel Mug
- Work Gloves
- Hat & Mitten Set
- Item of clothing with a meaning…like a school sweatshirt or from a favorite vacation spot or a favorite sports team
- Natural nail polish for kids and adults
My one tip for a simpler holiday season is to buy all your gifts online! If you have Amazon Prime, now is the time to take full advantage of it and if you don’t (we do not) you still have time to pick out gifts, just order all at once to get free shipping. I’ve also used Costco.com and Target.com for fast and free shipping this holiday season!