I previously wrote an article on my son’s birthday gifts and how we asked for experiences rather than toys…but do I practice what I preach?

Yes I do (or at least I really try to)! In the past I’ve been happy to give out bounce house passes but I know sometimes kids just want to open up a “gift.” I’ve recently made a promise to myself to not ever buy toys for a kid. It seems that toys are not something that is lacking in a house so unless there is something I know the kid really wants toy-wise, it’s a big no-no for me.

Since my son is getting a little older I also let him help a lot more in the gift giving…I mean who knows more what a kid would like than a kid? I’ve found that craft items and science projects are the way to go. I look at the kids interest and also how they interact with their parents. For example I know some stay at home moms who would love to assist their child with a science experiment but I also know moms who are working or going to school and would prefer their child get a craft they can sit and work on with little assistance from the parent…because once the gift is given the child will likely be asking about it non-stop until it’s opened and started or completed! I give my son 2-3 choices and he gets to pick the gift for the child.

Lastly, I’ve said…forget the cards. We no longer buy cards for birthday kids and it’s not because I’m cheap…which I am…but it’s because the kids rarely see them because they are so excited for the present and to me they can be a bit impersonal (since the kid won’t stop to read them). Every once in awhile I’ll have my son sit down and paint on cardstock. These will later be turned into cards. We put a simple “Happy Birthday ____ Love,” and then my son can trace his name (since if he wrote it on his own right now they wouldn’t be able to read it) We just tie this to the front of the package and boom the card is seen by the child upon opening it.
Well those are a few of my suggestions…what are your non-toy gift ideas or what’s the best non-toy gift your child has received?