Christmas season is almost here and the grandparents are wondering what exactly to get the grandchildren. The parents are doing their best clearing out old unused toys to make room for the plethora of plastic that is about to make its way into the house again. But instead of gifting more toys that will ultimately lead to a landfill of plastic, let's give experiences to our grandchildren. As a mother, I would appreciate an actual usable experience over a toy that will get a weeks of play time, at best, and then live its life just being dumped out into a daily mess on the floor just to be picked up until discarded.
Gifting an experience can be anything from entertainment to skill building classes. Below is a few experiences that I would love my children to receive as gifts rather than toys.
1. Swim Lessons
Most people do not think about gifting swim lessons, but there are no other sport clinics necessary to learn, with the exception of swim. Swim is a life saving skill and one that most parents want their children to learn, but the cost keep them from signing their children up.
This year you can buy a gift certificate to Safe Splash Swim School and with every four months purchased, you get a free month. A great deal, at a great swim school.
We love our zoo! We go from the spring to fall each year. It makes for an easy weekend activity that pleases everyone. Also, grandparents can purchase the zoo pass in a way that allows them to tag along when visiting with additional guest passes.
We have a few kid friendly museums here and our children love them! Our children of course love the science museum, but they even love the art museum that has a designated creative space in it. Find out what local museums are close to your grandchildren and if they enjoy visiting them. Typically season passes cost no more than 100$ for the family.
4. Tickets to see a play
This experience is geared more toward older children, I would recommend 5 and older. Tickets to see a play are always fun and you can make it extra special by buying them a nice shirt or dress to wear to the play, add dinner to it and you have one memorable grandma/pa date.
I wish we had an aquarium in our city, but if someone gifted us with passes to the one an hour north of us, we would definitely go all the time. Especially during the cold winter weekends and hot summer ones.
6. Music Lessons
Interest in music begins early. My 20 month loves music, and though he's too young for a formal lesson, toddler music classes would still be a great gift. However, my oldest would love to learn an instrument, most likely piano.
This might not seem like the most fun experience gift, but it is one that may be needed. Provding tutoring lessons is more than an experience though, it is a gift of equipping and empowering. Tutoring lessons could even be paired with grandma/grandpa gift coupons; such as each session attended or letter grade improved gets an ice cream or movie date.
8. Gift card to a restaurant and movie
It's so hard to buy for older kids, but a gift card to a restaurant and a movie is usually always a good gift to please even the pickiest children.
9. Sport clinics
Some children just want to play sports! Instead of buying another ball, pay for their sports clinics. Give them another year of doing an activity that they love.
10. A trip
If you are feeling extra generous, a trip to a family friendly destination is always great! Just make sure to plan with the parents on this one!
This Christmas let's ditch the toys and give something more special to our grandchildren. Let's give memories.