I cleaned out my kids’ rooms recently and was disgusted with myself. I let it get too far.
What I found were piles of toys in every way shape and form. Half of them were broken or lost. And none of them had been played with in ages.
In fact, some of them were played with ONLY on the day they were received.
The truth is, I stopped trying to organize our toys. It became overwhelming.
So then and there, I decided that whatever our kids got from us, they would not be toys.
And while I’ll give a few ideas to family, the majority will be items that serve the kids in a more meaningful way.
I don’t think I’m the only mom that struggles with toy overwhelm.
And I can do better. As a society, we can all do better.
But, what do you get kids instead of toys?
For starters, this camping gear for kids makes for great gifts and also encourages outside time. The guide is perfect for kid holidays and birthdays! Plus, I really love two things about camping supplies as gifts.
First, anything you buy for camping also serves as emergency preparedness. (Flashlights, lanterns, etc.)
Second, camping is excellent family time away from distractions and devices. If you want to spend more quality time with loved ones, camping and hiking are the way to do it!
Non Toy Gifts
Next, I’d consider getting kids things that are…
Items they need anyway include toothbrushes, toothpaste, fun bandaids, socks, etc. No, these aren’t great big ticket items but they make excellent fillers in stockings and Easter baskets.
Creative or Educational
Next, anything that promotes learning deserves a second look. The key here is to buy quality products that will last a long time. Items like telescopes, microscopes, creative paints, etc. spark curiosity and imagination in kids.
Find Multi-Functional Items
Next, anything that can serve multiple purposes or that grows with your child is a great thing to invest in. These items include cribs that turn into toddler beds, Little Big Bikes that grow with the child, or adjustable activity tables that kids can use as they get older too. Think of lasting pieces when it comes to gifts for your kids.
Focus on Experiences
A good life is one that puts experiences over things.
So, how can you use some of your gift money for memorable experiences with your family?
This Christmas, our gift to the kids was a night in a water park hotel. It gave them something to look forward to after the holidays and gave our family quality time together. They LOVED it and have already begged to do it again next year instead of the usual gifts.
(I also see this as a win for mom and dad because it was a LOT easier to spend money on a short getaway than planning a thousand small gifts.)
Toys and plastic junk (that breaks in a matter of days) is a common problem that most people overlook. It’s just become so mainstream!
But not only is this SUPER bad for the planet, it’s also bad for our mental health. No one has to feel like they’re drowning in a pile of stuff. Since we cut back on our toys, we feel like we can breathe again. We got our sanity back.
So, let’s get rid of the clutter and keep it out for good by investing in quality pieces and experiences that truly bring our families together. Here’s to a future filled with incredible moments, not piles of junk.
“Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.” – Barbara Hemphill