Guest post from Micah of Home Faith Family:
The benefits of giving Gift Experiences for Kids
For my fifth birthday, my dad gave me a choice between two birthday presents.
- A traditional gift.
- A daddy-daughter date with no other siblings to come along.
Coming from a family of seven, there was never alone time… and as a little girl, I was practically my dad’s shadow, so naturally, I chose the date with him.
Fast-forward a few decades later, my husband found himself unemployed after leaving law school, and our family finances were tighter than a knot.
Our children had birthdays coming up, and we felt guilty knowing we wouldn’t be able to buy them the toys they were eyeing at the store.
As my husband and I discussed what to do for our children so they wouldn’t feel neglected on their birthdays, the memory of my father’s date came to mind.
I shared the experience with my husband and we decided to try to give experiences to our children instead of gifts.
Our little ones had SO much fun that this has been their birthday gift ever since!
What are Experience Christmas Gifts?
Experience Gifts can be any number of activities or experiences that you gift to someone — usually instead of a physical item.
You may join them on the experience (going to a movie or on a picnic together) or send them solo (an afternoon at home without the kids, or a massage), but the idea is that you are gifting them an opportunity instead of more stuff.
Gift Experiences for Kids that cost little to no money
I completely understand that a tight budget can be tricky when dealing with experience gifts. In these situations, I’ve found that creativity is my best friend!
1. Use the seasons to your advantage.
Is it winter? Use a trash can lid to go sledding. Are you enjoying summertime? Pick wildflowers together and have a contest to see who can make the most creative headband with the flowers.
2. Have a puddle-splashing contest to see who can make the biggest splash.
This one was a hit with our little boy who loves the outdoors. Just make sure you have a lot of clean towels nearby for when you’re done!
3. Take dancing lessons together using YouTube and have a dance party at home.
Use what you have around your home to decorate the dining room or living room for when it’s time to dance.
4. Go on a nature walk and skip rocks in the river.
5. Take your child on a “tour of their life” in your local town.
Drive them to where they were born, places that have meaning to them, and share your feelings and experiences with them on how much they mean to you. If you do this option, be sure to have a recorder going so you can write these stories down to give to your child later.
More Ideas for the Best Experience Gifts for Kids
When you can budget the experiences, you want to gift your children, you’ll be able to cater to their interest and needs more.
1. Something they love more than anything.
Maybe they’ve always wanted to be a professional baseball player… go enjoy a day at the ballpark.
Or perhaps they want to be a ballerina on ice skates… take them ice skating.
2. Cooking Classes.
Sign up and take a cooking class together and then step back and let your child take the lead. You might be surprised at how well they do in the kitchen.
3. Music Lessons.
Does your son or daughter want to learn how to play a certain instrument? Sign them up for music lessons. If you can afford the lessons but can’t buy the instrument, there are places you can rent instruments from, whether this is the music store or your child’s school.
4. Museum Day Date.
Get lost together exploring the wonders of the world, learning about science, planet Earth, history, or anything else your child has an interest in.
5. Day Away With a Friend.
If your child has no interest in doing a one-on-one date, offer to take them and their friends to a trampoline park, a panic-puzzle room, or another fun, group party place where they can have a blast with their friends and family.
Why we love Experience Gifts for Kids
I promise (from experience) that children will rarely remember the gifts they receive on their birthday. But they WILL remember the time you spent with them and the memories you helped create.
Toys will eventually break and electronics will quickly become outdated, but the pictures you take and the laughter you share will be something you two can hold onto for a lifetime!
What are some of the Best Experience Gifts you’ve been gifted?
Share it with us in the comments below… as well as why you loved this gift so much!
Micah Klug loves being a mother and helping other women DIY their home on a budget, grow their faith in Christ, love their marriage, and strengthen their family relationships by living simply without losing their quality of life or sanity. She writes at Home Faith Family, where you can download your free marriage ebook, “Love Again: 100+ Conversation Questions to Strengthen Your Relationship.”