Kids have too much stuff. There, I said it—someone had to. Kids have way too much stuff and it’s weighing down their imaginations and ability to think for themselves. With television, video games and other forms of technology becoming more and more present in the lives of people of all ages, there needs to be a more well established balance. When your child, sibling, niece, nephew, or best friend’s kiddo has an upcoming birthday, it is an opportunity to nurture what children are losing: the ability to simply be a child. Below are ten ideas for birthday gifts that the children in your life will adore.
1. Gift Certificate
Gift certificates are one of the best gifts that can be given. A gift certificate is a gift of a memory, rather than a dispensable item. Give them a gift certificate for your local zoo, roller-skating rink, restaurant, or any other fun spot that you or their family can take them. By giving the gift of fun and memories, you avoid adding to the clutter of too many toys and encourage the child to make time for play.
2. Gardening Tools
Giving a gift of gardening tools is wonderful! You can pair them with flower seeds, veggie starts, or a book about gardening. This is a gift that teaches children a sustainable skill, while simultaneously encouraging them to get outside and work with their hands. Gardening teaches hard work, patience, and offers a worthwhile (and tasty) reward as the season progresses.
3. Box Subscriptions
Box Subscriptions are always a good idea! Children love to get mail and open packages. There are several great subscriptions available for children. Some focus on art, science, clothes, and cooking. Our favorite is the Get it Going box which delivers activities to promote kindness. Boxes are filled with "Top Secret" challenges making the doing part of kind deeds more fun. Check out other subscription boxes at crate joy.com
4. Art Supplies
One of the best ways for children to get creative in play and express themselves is through art. A gift of paints, crayons, colored pencils, or other art supplies are always great "go to" present ideas.
5. Baking Supplies
Cooking is a skill that ought to begin from an early age. Cooking is rewarding and highly enjoyable, so a baking bowl, whisk, and set of measuring cups is the perfect gift for any child. Pair baking supplies with a kid-friendly cookbook like one of these: http://dailyparent.com/articles/the-15-best-cookbooks-for-kids/.
6. DIY Science Kit
Many kids love science and learning through cause and effect. Being able to put something together themselves or witnessing a reaction is tons of fun! Check out this list of DIY science kits for children: http://nontoygifts.com/top-11-diy-science-kits-for-kids/. Another great resource is the Science & Discovery Toys section on the Toys”R”Us website: http://www.toysrus.com/products/science-and-discovery-toys.jsp.
7. Musical Instrument
Learning a musical instrument is exciting! It takes patience, practice, and hard work, but leaves them with a creative skill that can become a lifelong hobby or, perhaps, even a career. A musical instrument can be paired with an instructional book, DVD, or prepaid series of classes at a local music shop.
8. A Gift From the Heart
One of the most special gifts that can be given are those from the heart. A handmade card or self-composed and performed song, dance, or poem are all very thoughtful. Another idea is a book of photos of you and the child. Regardless of what it is, a gift that you make will be memorable and kind.
Children, or adults, for that matter, cannot have too many books. Reading expands the mind and encourages analytical thinking, as well as empathy for people different than oneself.
A journal is a simple, yet thoughtful gift. This can be given on its own or along with a special pen. You can personalize it by giving a list of journal prompt ideas. For journal prompt inspiration, check out this link: https://www.journalbuddies.com/prompts-by-grade/elementary-writing-journal-prompt-ideas-for-kids/.
Let us know which of these birthday gift ideas you went with, in the comments section below.