Ten Gifts to Make a Memory
By: Chelsi Hickey @MotherhoodUnmastered
With Christmas just a few weeks away, many moms, dads, aunts, grandmas, and friends are still scouring online and in stores for the perfect gift for all the kiddos in their lives. If your kids are anything like mine, they have way too many toys already, most of them sitting around unplayed with.
When Grammy asks, “What should I get the kids for Christmas?”, I usually respond with, “They like about anything,” “we really don't need anything,” and, “they have so many toys!” But of course, Gram, Aunt Sue, and Cousin Barb insist on getting them something.
If you're like me, hmming and haaing, trying to think of something that won't just get thrown to the side, look no further! I've rounded up my top ten favorite gifts that will last beyond Christmas week and maybe even help make a few memories.
These aren't just Christmas gifts either! If your kiddo has a birthday coming up, or you're just looking for a little something special, these would all be perfect for any occasion. There's even a couple of great small shops thrown in since we love to shop small over here!
Here we go!
- Shine Bins- These bins were created by mom, and full-time elementary behavioral specialist, Stephanie Owen. Her creations include two different types of boxes that provide the benefits of sensory play without breaking the bank. Her Dough Bins include 8oz. Of homemade Shine Dough, themed trinkets, fine motor tools, and a “shine sheet”, that includes corresponding read and conversation starters for the whole fam. Her Play and Learn Bins include sensory fillers, such as rice, beans, rocks, fake snow, etc. They are also themed and include three learning mats to extend the activity. Each learning mat is based on grade level standards that help your kiddos learn and practice important skills, such as learning their left from their right. She also has subscription boxes available for any time of year!
- Kiwi Co. Box- Speaking of subscription boxes, Kiwi Co. is one I'm really fond of. I subscribed for Cambri when she was younger and am excited to resubscribe. These boxes show up at your doorstep monthly for kids and even teens of all ages. The activities in the boxes are geared for each age level and are STEM activities that encourage kids to be creative problem solvers. There is a discount code for one of these boxes over on my website, motherhoodunmastered.com.
- Little Passports Box- Little Passports is another subscription box (can you tell I love those?). This is one I haven't personally tried, but am so excited to get my hands on! These boxes are geared at children 3-9+ years old. These boxes have two options, a STEM option, as well as a geography and Culture Option. The “boxes” look like little suitcases and are designed to spark your child's interest in the world.
- Leigh Designs Busy Books- Leigh Designs is another amazing small shop, started by Amber Leigh. She designs three different busy books, one for kids two to three years old, one for pre-k kiddos, and one for Kindergarten kids. Each book contains ten activities, have laminated pages, and use velcro to attach the pieces. Each book's cover can even be customized to include your kid's name and picture. There is also an option to Build Your Own Book (BYOB), where parents can fully customize the pages included in their child's book for their specific needs. Right now, you can use code KIDS when checking out to save 15% on your order. The Leigh Designs webpage also has a few other goodies that would be great added gifts.
- Chez Bebe Children's Bedding & Accessories- This is a great option for all kiddos that may just be considered a “need”. The company was founded by Brandi Lilly McLean and her daughter, India. At four years old, India Jolie dreamt up the designs. Now, as a nine year old, she serves as Chez Bebe's design director and is very much involved in the creation of new products. It's truly designed for kids, by kids. Their products include eco-friendly bedding in fun designs, such as a Paris theme or Robots. They also sell innovative bedwetting pads, called LillyPads, in all sorts of fun designs, and wet/dry bags, perfect for just about anything.
- Fat Brain Toys- I love Fat Brain Toys, and our house has quite the collection of them. There's options for all ages. They're brightly colored and great for “inspiring creativity and sparking curiosity,” as the company says. Their toys are great for enhancing fine motor skills, developmental skills, logical reasoning, and so much more. If you're looking for a product that's great for learning and development, they offer so many great options.
- Melissa & Doug Toys- This certainly isn't a small shop, but if you're short on time and need a gift you can find pretty much anywhere, Melissa & Doug is a great option. They have a ton of pretend play sets that are great at encouraging kids to use their imaginations. They're also great quality, so they won't break after a few uses.
- Zoo Membership- Activity gifts are some of my very favorites. They're a great way for the entire family to make memories. A zoo membership, or even just zoo tickets to use at a later date, is a great option that all young kiddos would love. It won't get thrown to the side, and is something they'll remember for years to come.
- Kids Museum Membership- Similar to a zoo membership or passes, a kids museum is a great option for kids to use all year long. You can search your area for one close to you, but they usually include all kinds of activities to help kids use their imaginations or learn something new. This has, by far, been one of my kiddos favorite gifts.
- Kids Furniture- Hear me out here! I'm not talking a new dresser or anything like that, but this does span a couple of different options. The hot ticket item right now is Nugget foam couch, and is the main thing I'm gifting my girls this year. If you can manage to score one, woo-hoo!, but if not, there are several other brands out there, many small shops, just trying to get their start. Look into those! These couches provide endless opportunity for imaginative play, and to help bring out your kiddos inner architect. Another great furniture option (that both my girls love and use daily) is a Pottery Barn Anywhere chair. Again, there's a few different brand options to fit any budget, but is sure to be well-loved for years to come!
There ya have it! I hope this gift guide helps get you and your loved ones all ready for Christmas this year! To my family, it's important for us to give gifts that can, and will, be used over and over again. These are just a few options that help to inspire creativity, get your kiddos away from a screen, and use their imaginations. I can't wait to see how you inspire your little learners this year!
Websites to the small shops included above:
www.leighdesigns.store (discount code KIDS)