I have been collecting ideas of things to give my children beyond plastic toys that will soon be lost, forgotten and not cherished.
I am going to post this even as I continue to work on it so others can use these ideas if they need to.
1. Alchemy kit. I save vanilla bottles and other small bottles for this. I used beet juice to colour vinegar and I called it “acid of newt” and I included baking soda and it was “base of boils”. I use small amounts of other stuff that I find in my cupboard, spices, baling powder, anything really. Glitter and oil and dish soap are great too.
2. Baking supplies with a few fail proof recipes. My kids love to bake. I go to bulk barn and pick up gluten free flours. Then I include organic sweeteners like honey and whatever else they need to make healthy brownies or cookies. You can also include an apron, chefs hat and little oven mitts.
3. Playdoh kits. I used this recipe
no cook playdoh
4. Books! Books are always a great way to connect. I went to the thrift store and picked some classics like Seuss, Winnie the Pooh, medieval stories and Shel Silverstein to name a few.
5. Pieces of nature. Pinecones, sticks and rocks are all winning gifts to my kids! Especially really pretty rocks with their name painted on.
6. Dress up clothes. Capes, funny hats, dresses and shoes! What about cool, old suitcases?
7. Homemade treats. I am making caramel popcorn, toffee and marshmallows.
8. Special books to write in. Something decorated with their name would be very special.
9. Craft stuff. Insane random weird things that would otherwise be thrown out.
10. Treasure and jewelry boxes. I found some awesome boxes second hand, they are made of leather!
11. Warm, fuzzy blankets. If you can personalize them, even better! I like to sew pockets into them to keep their precious stuff. Felted wool blankets are abundant and super warm. They also can be cut without fraying. You could cut a shape out of one and sew it on another. I cut holes in the middle and then they serve as ponchos as well.
12. No sew sewing stuff like those skirts that you tie strips of fabric to. I’m going to put beads on the ends to make the skirts spin nicely. Even my sons will love dancing in these!
13. Used Lego! I also found a book on different things to make out of Lego. Lots of ideas!
14. Special coupons for things with you. A silly story or something totally outrageous.
15. Old, classic movies like Charlie Chaplin or Shirley temple. My kids love the simple, slap stick humor and the racism goes over their heads :S
16. Something of your own that you value. Has your child seen you with a special bracelet or watch? Could you pass it down?
17. Personalized board games. You can use games that are missing pieces to put together a game that is personal to your family. Make little figures with pictures of each family member. Try a cooperative game where everyone has to work together for a common goal.
18. Personalized card game, like go fish. Use your family photos glued and laminated onto cardboard or stiff paper. Make up rules or use an already existing game and your child can ask “Do you have a daddy?”
19. A collection of all their favorite foods. For my kids it’s things like large coconut flakes, avocado, nuts, smoked salmon, jerky, special cheese.