Every year we tend to fill our homes with toys for our children. Sometimes this can become overwhelming for parents as Christmas approaches as you start to wonder where all these new toys will be stored.
A great tradition to start with your family in the run-up to Christmas is a sort out. Whilst sorting out all existing toys and items laying around your home, start a discussion with your children and teach them about how not all children receive toys during this time of year and suggest that, together, you fill their stocking(s) with toys and items that can be donated.
If you come across some older toys that have seen better days, you can also discuss with your children that Father Christmas needs the parts from old toys to be able to make new toys. With this, you can then begin to fill stockings with these older toys that they no longer want and leave them under the tree on Christmas Eve for Father Christmas to take away and make new toys from.
Now you’ve had a sort out and made some space, ask your child what they got for Christmas last year or when they were 3, are they able to tell you? As parents/carers can you even remember what they got? So, this year instead of buying gifts that they may not remember why not think about gifting non-toys and lots of memories instead? Take a look at a list of our favourite ideas below:
Bring back nostalgia with a photo album
You can either buy and personalise an album online or create your own! Include all your favourite memories from the last year (or even longer) and save a bit of space under each photo to write some details about the memory and why it’s close to your heart. On Christmas Day, once unwrapped, sit with your children and go through it. Encourage them to think back to that memory and what they loved/remember about it and write that in too.
Show you care with a personalised blanket
Get a personalised blanket made with photos on it of family, friends and everyone that is important in your child’s life.
Spark new interests with a subscription box
Sign your child up to a subscription box that you can do together. These boxes tend to come monthly and are a great opportunity for you to sit down and spend one to one time with your children. If you have a child that suffers from allergies then the ‘little cooks’ baking subscription is a great idea as all the recipes are vegetarian and they try to cater for a range of allergies.
Bakedin now also do a children’s box if baking is something that you enjoy doing with your children. If crafting is your thing then why not try a toucan box that includes various craft activities for your children to complete.
Boost knowledge with memberships in arts, history, life & culture
Increase your child’s knowledge this winter and gift them a membership to a local museum, zoo and/or aquarium. These are places that children can go to learn, play and explore and after just a couple of visits, it will have paid for itself.
Learn about nature with some insect kits
If your children love being outdoors, then a butterfly or insect kit they can receive and use in the Spring is a great learning experience! You will receive some live caterpillars that you will watch grow, you can observe as they create their cocoons and watch as they spread their wings into painted lady butterflies. These can be purchased from Insect Lore.
Keep the excitement even after Christmas with redeemable vouchers
Create a basket/box with some snacks and a voucher for the cinema. Children will love having this to look forward to! If you do not fancy the cinema then gift a voucher for them to buy a film either form sky store, virgin media store or from their local supermarket. This would then be perfect to cash in on a rainy day.
Get creative with some crafts kits
If your children are a bit more creative, then a craft kit may be the gift for them! These can be purchased from places like The Works, Hobby Craft or Baker Ross. There are many different ones on the market that will suit your children’s interests and are perfect for something to do together.