This is a sponsored post inspired by the insane amount of toys my kids already own.
Giving is the predominant focus during the holiday season, from helping local organizations to spending time and buying gifts for your family, it really is the reason for the season. Naturally kids’ wish lists get the most focus and I think it’s important every child receive a few gifts. I just don’t think it needs to be dozens of toys. As a mom I know that the excitement of a big pile of gifts wanes when my kids are completely overwhelmed by too many toys later at home. If they have so many toys they lose them in a piles, they forget they have them or have no room to play. So I thought I’d share a few gift ideas that are toy alternatives!
4 Toy Alternatives for Christmas:
I think encouraging literacy and the love of reading is really important. A few new books in their favorite series, a magazine subscription, comic books, or gift cards to a book store or for their kindle device would all be awesome ideas for kids of all ages. You can even make it extra special by setting up a special day where you can take them to the bookstore yourself. Maybe splurge on a fun lunch or dessert afterwards. The memory of that day and the books they pick out themselves would make an awesome gift.
I think many people overlook the idea of gifting experiences. Memories of experiences last much longer than a toy that will be outgrown or broken. Buying admission to a museum, zoo or aquarium would be a great toy alternative for Christmas. Or better yet make it a family gift and gift them an annual family membership so they can visit their favorite place all year-long! In Tucson I’d recommend Reid Park Zoo, Pima Air and Space Museum or the Children’s Museum.
We love to travel and see new places as much as possible but it does get expensive. Depending upon what the family’s travel plans are you can help make the experience more awesome. A Disney gift card for each child to spend however they want would be fun if they are planning a Disneyland trip. If they are visiting a big city, you can often buy attraction passes good for multiple museums and tourist sites. Or pick one special place and buy them admission to visit. If the family loves to camp, a new sleeping bag or other gear would be fun too.
My boys are completely spoiled, we have lots of relatives and many buy them gifts. If they only received 1/2 as many toys each Christmas, I bet they would barely notice. I think most families can relate to overgenerous relatives. If you are buying for gifts for kids this year, consider donating to a college savings plan instead of a couple of action figures. They may not realize the significance of the gift at 8 but they will at 18. Having any amount of money saved for college will really help them. Wouldn’t you rather they have less stress and loans later on while going to college?
Children with any college savings are six times more likely to attend a four-year college than children with no dedicated college savings account. While nearly all parents believe college is an investment in their child’s future, only one-third have a plan to pay for higher education.
I totally recommend checking out the Arizona Family College Savings (529) Program, you can download a free college savings planner to learn more.
Like donating to a charity, contributions to a 529 plan are tax-deductible and over the past year there has been an increase to the allowable tax incentives! That makes a gift of college savings like a little gift to you as well. 😉
Toys don’t last. An education does.
Learn how you can give the gift of education and receive valuable tax breaks at az529.com/gift1.