With 3 girls we have acquired a lot of toys. We have a play room full of toys.
I gathered two garage bags full of toys to donate and when I came home and looked into the playroom it seemed as though I didn’t take a thing. That is how many toys my kids have.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not “anti-toys”. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing my girls creating stories and living in their own dream world as they play Barbies and make food in their kitchen. I think toys can spark imagination and do a lot of good. The problem comes when my kids have so many toys they don’t even remember what they have.
This year I have made a pact with my husband that there will be no toys. This empowered us to be creative and think outside the box.
So what do we define as toys?
If they use it outside? Not a toy to us
If it’s educational? Not a toy to us
If it’s an experience? Not a toy to us
If it sparks imaginative play? Not a toy to us
I am sure that everyone has their own opinions on what is considered a toy or not. We aren’t sticking to any specific rules, we just want to make a list that will make our kids happy, fulfill their needs, and clear the clutter.
Here is a list I put together of some items that would make great non-toy gifts. If you have little ones to buy for this Christmas this is the list for you.
1. Movie tickets – We love going to the movies but as a family of 5 it gets expensive. Consider a gift card to a local theatre, even better make a date to go with them.
2. Passes to local attractions – M girls stay home with me so we are always looking for fun (and educational) things to do to keep us busy. We have the zoo, aquarium, children’s museum, Busch Gardens, and even Disney close by. My girls would be so excited to know that your gift gave them the opportunity to visit their favorite places.
3. Music classes – My daughters have been taking music since they were 6 months old. We attend the most amazing Music studio, Allisongs For Tots, LLC. I attribute my girls love of music and picking speech and language skills to this class. It is not only fun but every aspect of class is thought out to make sure your little one is learning to their fullest potential. We adore Ms. Alli, there is really no one like her. She is truly passionate about what she does and I could not ask for more out of a teacher for my girls. We look forward to this class every week and laugh the entire 45 minutes. If you want to surprise your little one with a gift that you can use for weeks and memories that will last a lifetime I HIGHLY recommend this class. If you live in the Tampa area come to Allisongs Grand opening concert for her new studio in Hyde Park Village, 740 S. Village Circle . The concert will take place at 10am on December 10th. Meet Ms. Alli, tour her new studio, and dance and sing with your little one. You will see us there, singing HELLO EVERYBODY!
4. Chick-fil-a gift card – “What do you want for lunch?” “Chicken Nuggets!!” I know I can’t be the only mom who hears this, right?!?!
5. Trampoline – We have been entertaining the idea of a trampoline and if we took the plunge I think this would be it. If my girls jump on the couch one more time I think my head might explode, so I am going to divert their energy to the ultimate jumping attraction! I like this one
6. Books – We are always on the search for unique books. We are so lucky to have found this book from a local mom, Kim Clark. The book is about her two dogs and my girls love dogs so it was a hit. Riley and Frankie are just the cutest, and little Rose too. The story is about the two doggie pals going on an adventure to the beach, and if your kids love the beach like mine do they will be just as happy. We even saw a Dalmatian walking in our neighborhood and my oldest says “hey it’s Frankie”, that is how much they like it. If you would like to buy the book for you littles you can get it HERE. Even better, if you are local she has a book signing December 11th at the Carrolwood Barnes and Nobles at 2pm and you can pick up your own copy there. Give her a visit. I’ll be sharing a giveaway soon so keep your eyes out.
7. Cupcake gift card – If my daughter opened her gift to see a sprinkles gift card she might just scream. She has a small obsession with it, especially the ATM.
8. Costumes – We have a ton of princess dresses. But if you have a little guy you could also do some I have suggested below. So much fun seeing them give a performance each night after dinner.
9. Subscription boxes – We have done quite a few craft style boxes but there is also one for clothes or even exploring.
10. Baking set – What little one doesn’t like getting dirty in the kitchen?!? I love these sets
11. Gymnastics/ballet – Activities can get expensive for parents, especially when you have more than one little one. Help them out by offering to cover one month of classes. Want something to put under the tree? How about a leotard, tutu, ballet shoes, or anything else they could use in class. I love these leotards and my girls grow so fast that I can’t keep up.
13. Their favorite snacks – our stockings are filled with crackers, gummie bears (I try to find the healthier ones but heck its christmas), and whatever fun little snack I can find. Its a special treat when I can find something with their favorite character on it. I found veggie sticks with the trolls characters so I basically know I am going to be mom of the year.
14. Puppet Theatre – A Theatre is so much fun. We have this one and laugh so hard each time we play. We also have some of these puppets
15. Karaoke machine – I don’t mind hearing “let it go” or “twinkle twinkle” a million times in a row when sweet little voices are singing. We have this one and it is so much fun and links to your iPad.
16. Personalized plates – Dinner time made fun with these personalized plates!
17. Play Kitchen – We have this one and I recommend it to all parents of girls and boys. It is probably one of the best gifts my kids have ever received. Its not an exaggeration, its that good. You can even get some great food too!
18. Playdoh – This will keep your kiddos occupied for hours, I promise.
19. Outdoor table – Since I endorsed playdoh I also have to endorsed this cute outdoor picnic table because that is where we play with playdoh. Fresh air and my house stays clean and baby doesn’t end up with a mouth full of the stuff. I love this one because it folds up to be put away when we aren’t using it.
21. CD’s for the car – We are really into the Trolls soundtrack right now. I am trying to teach my girls about Justin Timberlake from an early age.
22. Movies – This year ELF is on our wish list. My favorite Christmas movie of all time. We will also be looking for Secret Life of Pets
23. Nail Polish – These are safe for little ones
24. Pajamas – add their favorite characters and voila, you are an instant favorite. Win them over even more with fun slippers, my girls have these and never want to take them off!
25. Play Make Up – We have this set from Little Cosmetics and love it because it is not real but looks real enough to be super fun.
26. Board games – We might be the only family on the planet to not have this game and I can guarantee it will be under our tree this year.
27. Bath paints – Make this nightly routine super fun with these paints
29. Doll house – Our Barbies spark so much imaginative play that it was no surprise that a Barbie house was on the top of their list. Lucille’s one request, an elevator (where does she get this stuff). Each year we get a big gift for both girls from santa, and after a lot of reading and searching we have decided on this one. It’s big yes, but I know my girls will flip when they see it and it was the best value. I really feel like it’s something they will grow into and use for many years.
30. Arts and Crafts – Our stocking theme this year is arts and crafts. I am just going to go crazy at Michael’s with goggly eyes, construction paper and pipe cleaners because its stuff we will use all year long.
31. Art Eisel – we have this one and love it
32. Tea set – tea time with your little ones is the cutest
Have more ideas on great gifts for little ones? I’d love to hear about them.
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