That perfect illustrious gift to give has become difficult. Living far away from your friends and family, not knowing what the kids already have has made it tough to pick great gifts out for both sides of our families. We rely on each other’s input to give great gifts but sometimes mom and dad aren’t really sure what to give either. I’ve tried a whole bunch of different gifts to get around this problem.
I’ve hit on some real winners though. Things that my kids are loving and things I have given and got a positive response. So what should you give this holiday season for the people who have everything and for the kids you’re not sure of what they’ve already got?
My safe bets lie in experiences & educational tools (disguised as really cool apps & games).
Experience: Local Recreation Center Passes
I gave this to a friend a few years ago as I knew they were active members of their local recreation centre. I simply called them up and renewed their babysitting card. This babysitting was a godsend for my friend as she could go in and do a workout class while her kids were in care. I’ve also given out 3 month passes for babies or toddlers to the local centre to get parents and kids active. If you’re feeling like sending something, pair it with a sweet new beach towel and a pair of goggles or swim diaper depending on the child’s age.
Educational Tool: Ooka Island
This one app has held my 4 year old’s attention for many weeks now. He’s obsessed with following Zobot around and his favourite mini-games are where he gets to make cakes & skateboard down the mountain. The progression that he has made with knowing his sounds & alphabet is pretty amazing. Played for just 20 minutes, 3x a week, this app is a hard one to put down. As a parent, it’s an easy one to see the value in!
Ooka Island is a scientifically proven game-based reading program for kids 3 to 7. While on their adventure, they’ll spend 80 hours learning skills through educational games, unlock 85 eBooks, and be reading confidently at a grade 2 level in a year! Available for iPad: Click here to download it. Grandparents will love purchasing this to help grandkids get reading – 3 month trials to 1 year are available.
Experience: A Membership to the local Science Center, Zoo or Museum
No word of a lie, I’ve been to so many attractions from the zoo to heritage villages. I can’t say I have ever been bored at these places. Each one has a wealth of programming, changing exhibits and lots of hands-on activities to draw you in. Giving one of your favourite families a membership will make them go more often and not cost a pretty penny each time as annual memberships are usually very affordable!
Educational Tool: Epic Kids Books
I am horrible at getting library books back on time. I do my best, but I inevitably forget to return them. So instead of racking up my library fines, I’ve invested a monthly subscription for Epic! Kids Books instead. The Epic library is well, epic. They have books in every category that you can imagine from Adventure (my favourite) to Living Things, Science, Funny, and more…. Homeschoolers you’re going to love this – type in your topic and voila, a book!
Since we started reading using our iPad, story time has gotten longer with no complaints from anyone! The books are grouped by appropriate age group making it easy to find the right book for your little reader. With over 10,000 books and growing in the library, a 6 month – 2 year subscription is a great investment you can gift it this Christmas.
Family Gift Experience Baskets
Get Messy with Your Family, Plan a Movie Night, or create other fun baskets that will have you engaging in an activity with your family. Why not do a hike + hot chocolate one? Or Family Game Night? The possibilities are endless!
Educational Tool: Teach My
Brightly-coloured and full of different activities for each age, Teach My kits help kids learn through playing in only 20 minutes a day. You can read our full review over here.
DIY Sensory Bottles – shake, rattle and roll baby. These bottles will sure to be a hit.
DIY Wipes Toy Box – use what you got and teach your baby permanence with an object box that just won’t stop.
There’s more great ideas over on our Play Inside Pinterest board!
Follow The Inspired Home's board Play Inside on Pinterest.
a passionate recreation coordinator by day, crazy farm mama of two by night. i live outdoors: growing my own food, camping and hiking with my border collie with two active kids in tow. when I’m not writing, I’m experimenting with recipes, and crafts – or anything else that might keep the monkeys entertained.
Natasha J says
Wow! Amazing recommendations. Ooka Island and Epic! both look perfect for my niece who loves reading!
I use Epic at school with my kids! It’s great! I am intrigued about OOKA