While I would love to buy everything for my children, we have way too many toys. This year, I want to give my kids less but them to experience more. Find how to buy the best Christmas gifts for kids below.
Christmas morning hits and my daughter blitzes through the presents under the tree. Wrapping paper and cardboard go flying as she rips down to the core of each git. Her excitement consumes her to the point she can barely focus on the Moana doll she had wanted for months or the Shopkins she had cut out from the Toys R Us catalogue weeks before.
Despite her fervour, I know most of these toys will end up in the basement. For months, they will sit forgotten. The figurines will only regain their value when I plan to donate them.
Here’s my problem
I want my kids to be consumed by Christmas spirit, not consumerism. The main reason we buy so many gifts is because I want my kids to know how much I love them. But what I have done in the past hasn’t worked. The speed at which my children open their presents coupled with the fact we already have too many toys proves my approach needs to change.
Prepping the family for quality over quantity
A few weeks ago, when the toy catalogues hit our front porch, I prepped the kids. “It’s much easier for Santa to know what to get you if you only choose three toys for your Christmas list.”
My four-year-old and five-year-old went through and circled almost every item on every page. Then, they chose their absolute favourites, cut them out and pasted them on their wishlist. We also talked about choosing books. (If your children are old enough to write out their lists, I love this printable template. It asks children to indicate one item they want, one item they need, a new book to read, and something to donate.)
My husband and I agreed our focus will be on experiences. We are flying home for the Holidays and will hit up the science museum, aquarium, and Christmas train. The truth is, when all grown up we don’t remember most of the toys we got as gifts. But we do cherish memories of togetherness and fun.
That said, we will buy our kids some toys. So it’s worth covering what toys make a lasting impression and what toys are less than ideal.
Christmas Gifts for Kids: What makes for the best play value and which ones are more likely to gather dust?
Steer clear of battery operated toys
There are exceptions. For instance, my son got a mini air hockey table from my in-laws and it is awesome. In general, however, battery operated toys get played with in a very limited fashion. On a whole, they perform tasks for kids and kids passively press and watch what the toys do.