Most parents dispose of their children’s toys and clothing through yard sales or donations to charity. This is usually because children outgrow the item or move to another stage of development. However, many children have too much stuff! The beautifully wrapped present the child begged for last Christmas is demoted from the under the tree on Christmas morning to the forgotten item at the bottom of the toy box or back of the closet within weeks, and to the garage sale within months. Here are some items guaranteed not to end up in the garage sale.
- Lessons – gift certificates for dance, music, art, drama, sports, or horseback riding
- Camps experiences
- Visits to a museum, gallery, botanical garden, zoo
- Experiences such as hiking, boating, snorkeling, fishing, snowmobiling, or skiing
- Trips to a farm, lake, or mountains
- Tickets to a concert, ballet, or sporting event
Not only will these experiences broaden the child’s intellectual horizon, funds for the experiences support local artists, museums, and other local businesses. Most of the experiences leave a small carbon footprint, compared to the discarded toy that will eventually take up space in landfill. With a little creativity, parents can find an experience for every budget. Some museums or events offer discounts or even free admission during off peak times.
To pique the child’s interest and make Christmas morning exciting, parents can use clever packaging to build excitement.
- Package gift certificates for horseback riding lessons with a toy horse
- Provide art supplies with art museum tickets
- Place a camera in the package with tickets to events
- For experiences without gift certificates or tickets, create your own certificate with an explanation of the event
- Hiking boots or shoes with the picture of the hiking destination
Please post your ideas for experiences or creative packaging in the comments section.