|My son's Christmas haul. Lots of great non-toy gifts!|
Are you like me and have buckets, and buckets of toys, that no matter how many times you organize it always seems to be messy? Little man was born in September, so less than 3 months later was Christmas. For his birthday, he got so many toys! So many in fact, that I put many of them back, and got them out a little at a time. When Christmas started getting closer, I started thinking about ways to not get so many toys. I wondered if my family would be offended if I asked for them to not give toys as gifts, but it wound up that they all respected and followed what I asked. Something I did do, was give suggestions, and created a wish list on Amazon of things they could get. I let them know it didn't have to be that specific thing I put on the wish list, but perhaps something similar. As I said before, my wishes were respected, and Little man had a wonderful Christmas with 5 toys total, and lots of puzzles, art supplies, clothes, etc. Here are some of my favorite non-toy gifts that my son got, or that perhaps I would like to have.
Melissa and Doug Puzzles
There are so many great Melissa and Doug Puzzles, but I have pictured here a couple of my favorites. My son loves these, and asks for them often. Melissa and Doug have a great selection of play activities that for the most part, don't have loud annoying tech, but instead feel educational.
If you are like our family, you can never get too many books. The book pictured here is one of my son's favorites right now. He loves making all the animal and truck sounds. Books are a great inexpensive option for family members, and there are so many to choose from. You might give some options of some you've been wanting.
Toddlers are messy. Period. However, painting with water is pretty much a mess free activity. I normally get one of my son's bowls, and put just about a tablespoon of water in it. If it spills, it's not a big deal, and at least it's water!
Another great mess free option is mess-free markers and coloring pages. I will say though, my son is 18 months, and because the markers take a second to 'see' the color, he gets bored quickly. I feel like he will enjoy it more in the future. He does have fun putting the markers in and out of the box though. Whatever keeps him entertained!
Little Man doesn't have a lot of this, but for Easter, we are doing an art themed basket with finger paints, paper, and sidewalk chalk (which I'll talk about in a minute). I am excited to see his artistic juices flow, all over my kitchen table most likely!
Chalk, bubbles, cars, balls, the options are endless! My son loves to play outside, and it's nice to have things to keep him busy. However, my son finds just as much enjoyment playing with rocks and sticks as he does the things I buy for him. I think that's how it's supposed to be though.
Some other things that aren't toys but make great gifts are passes. Passes to the zoo, museum, aquarium, water park, etc. Experience coupons are also great gifts that the grandparent might want to give. They take them somewhere, and maybe you can get a date night on top of it. Win-win situation!
As you can see, however much I've tried to keep this gender neutral, I'm sure I'm missing some girl centered things. What are your suggestions for girly non-toy gifts?
Hope this helps for the next birthday, Christmas, whatever. Just give this link to family and friends, and maybe you'll end up with less noisy, space-taking toys!