How I Choose Gifts for My Kids for Christmas

I’m counting on this weekend when we’re on break from the kids’ extracurriculars, to do my last bit of shopping and gift wrapping. Fortunately I don’t have too much to shop for. For the past few years, the rule in our household has been: one gift from the parents, one small gift from Santa (whether they believe in him or not because one kid still does), something to read, a gift that can be used outdoors to encourage outdoor activity, and one gift to share. We do not gift electronics.

When I choose a toy, I opt for one that can be played with over and over again that builds creativity and/or imagination. Megabloks, Little People play sets, Lego, remote control cars, train tracks, Magnatiles, the Ikea toy kitchen, and Elenco snap circuit boards are popular in my household and have been played with almost daily for years. We avoid the “hot toy of the year”/”trendy” toys.

Santa gifts are always smaller gifts like art kits, science kits, good quality puzzles, kitchen toys, toy trucks, etc. based on whatever each child is interested in that particular year. The something to read gift is meant to teach the kids the value of books and reading, and that the knowledge you gain from reading is in itself a gift. I usually pick a book they’ve been wanting to read or a boxed series set. However, I’ve also gifted magazine subscription to kid-friendly magazines like National Geographic Kids, Chirp, Chickadee, and Owl. Outdoor gifts can be simple as rainboots for spring or a kite, sled, skates, rollerblades, gardening supplies, a basketball, sidewalk chalk, or binoculars for bird watching. A shared gift is either something all three kids would love or an experience gift for the entire family such as a season pass/tickets to a musical or sports game, movie tickets, a class, painting, an afternoon at a trampoline park or escape room, etc. Board games work too.

This has been working out wonderfully for us for the past few years. I buy, spend, and waste less as a result. What toys/gifts are you gifting this holiday season? Let me know in the comments below!

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