Tomorrow is Pippin’s fifth birthday, and I’m also trying to polish off my Christmas shopping before Roo debuts, so I’ve got gifts on my mind. I thought I’d share five gifts I’m excited about giving this year (or the kids receiving from other family) that Are Not Toys.
- A party. My oldest kid is only five so this is still a pretty early family tradition, but I’ve been moving toward fewer birthday presents and instead doing a low-key birthday party for each kid. That way I feel like I have the latitude to buy outrageously overpriced Octonauts napkins or whatever (which Pippin loves), and they don’t wind up with more stuff — just memories. I guess when they’re older they can opt out of the party for a really cool Lego set or whatever, but we can cross that bridge when we get to it.
- Wool long underwear. How cruel is this gift? But seriously! Merino is expensive, and it makes a big difference in our ability to get outside in the cold months. This year, this is Scout’s baselayer, which she’ll receive for Christmas.
- Fancy rain boots/rain jackets. We all know the popularity of galoshes in the preschool set, and a good pair can run in the $20-30 range — not a casual sum in my kids’ wardrobe budget. They also, because of their (over)use don’t usually make it into hand-me-down bins in my circles. But give my girl a pair of cherry red boots or my boy a policeman rain jacket (like my parents are doing for his birthday), and they’re over the moon.
- Police gear. For Christmas, Pip will receive traffic cones and police bike gear. I hope this will help get us all outside as outlined in the Police Preschool precepts. I guess these are kind of toys? But them living outside and performing a specific activity makes a difference to my mind.
- Art supplies. Nothing too fancy this year — just an infusion of PlayDoh, but in the past we’ve done glitter glue, Kwik Stix, twistable crayons, watercolors and paint smocks to great (and only semi-destructive) acclaim.
Do you love posts like this, that give you gift ideas that won’t add to the toy pile? They’re a weakness of mine. I particularly liked the suggestions here, although they’re mostly for kids older than mine.