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MomPossible Goals: Gifting- More Stuff or Experiences?

For the last eight years I have been picking up toys. While I am blessed to have the opportunity to raise children, I do not understand why we possibly feel the need for them to have so much stuff!

C’mon moms and dads, you know what I mean– you buy them that toy kitchen and they spend more time playing with the box than they do the actual kitchen, but you keep it for four years and vacuum around it because it is their toy and someday they will figure out how to play with it.

Every kid is different. Some are very good players and play with their toys and are able to occupy themselves. Some like books. My daughter has been very frightened of dolls since 18 months old, so as she received Barbies I noticed she disliked playing with them. She sold all of her Barbies and accessories to her cousin a couple years ago. My son goes in spurts of having favorite toys, but nothing really holds either of their attention for too long. He had legos, action figures, trucks… all collecting dust.

When it comes time to give them gifts, Mike and I have been trying to follow the “four somethings” rule -something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Boy has that help tremendously!¬†Especially at Christmas, when the gift giving can spiral out of control.

We have summer babies, so we just celebrated their birthdays! I keep watch all year in the stores to try to buy ahead and alleviate the stress of gift buying too much in the summer when we can be strapped for cash due to travel and fun adventures! I look for things they can do- games, outdoor toys, and arts and crafts, or gifts that end with a finished product. While we like the “to-do” gifts, they have been a struggle as not every kid is motivated to read the directions and learn how to do the project.

It isn’t that I don’t want to help my child do projects, but I would love to see the independent play that other kids excel at.¬†

Another thing we have tried in the last year is gifting experiences! This is the best and most fun, in my opinion. This year between my sister/brother-in-law and Mike and I we have taken the kids to Matilda the Musical, Junie B. Jones the Musical, and in October will be going to a KidzBop concert! (my sister/BIL got both my kids and myself a ticket to that for our birthdays!) We are also going to try for Disney On Ice again in December (luckily my kids didn’t know we had tickets, I didn’t tell them as was nervous about the winter weather. Good call on my part because there was a blizzard that weekend).

I would love to hear what other parents prefer to do for gifts- are your kids into toys? Pokemon? Fidget Spinners? Slime? Shopkins? Books galore? Or are they more gamers? Let me know!