Clutter-free Christmas list for children

Are you dreading the amount of toys your children will receive this Christmas?

I do!

I don’t want them to receive lots of toys they might or might not play with. I don’t want to have to deal with the amount of wrapping papers and empty boxes. I don’t want to add more clutter to my house and especially to their “small” bedrooms. Seriously, my children are 5 and 9 and they have toys to last a lifetime.

So here my clutter-free gifts lists, of course with a Montessori twist!

  • Playdough: possibly home-made in cute little jars that you have recycled or can reuse later.
  • Good quality art material: we never have enough of paints, pencils, wax crayons and chalks in our house! Sketch pads and good quality paper.
  • Sticker, stickers and more stickers and sticker books
  • Recipes and ingredients included to cook and bake during the holidays. There are some ready made boxes such as this one “allergy-free”
  • Clothes (yes we always ask for clothes as gifts especially from grand-parents because they have very good taste and my children love those gifts)
  • My children are now 5 and 9 so they like the “activity gifts” so tickets for a movie, circus show or anything like that will please them.
  • Classes: why not asking your family to offer the swimming lessons? the horse riding session? the toddler group sessions? Honestly if your toddler is under 5, he will be happy to open one or two gifts and enjoy those activities! Take pictures of your child enjoying the class and make a little photo album for the generous contributor.
  • Membership for the local farm, museum or indoor play centre (and you can invite who ever offered this on a regular basis)
  • I include anything from the charity shops that will go back to the charity shops after use. It works well if your child is under the age of 3 as they probably will not remember that specific jigsaw, stacking toy and so on. I used to buy good toys but cheap in charity shops and gave them back when my children were done with those toys. Check my post about Montessori inspired toys and material in Charity shops.
  • Donations: if your children are older, why not asking them to not having toys but donate to a charity instead? My son went to a birthday party recently and we donated to two associations instead of offering gifts. Oxfam does great gifts donations.
  • Bank account and stock: what about a very small gift (in term of value and space) and anything else that you and your family wanted to spend goes on a saving account? It might not be meaningful for your child now but he will thank you when he is 18 years old!
  • A photo album: how many times do you seat down to watch photos with your child? Make an album now to enjoy together.
  • A photo calendar: make a calendar with family pictures and offer it to your child to start the year! My children love to write their own activity, to tick the day when it’s over. Children like routine and be aware of what’s going on.
  • Candle making set: if you like to burn candles in your house, make natural candles with the children and use them.
  • Kits to make gifts: like coasters to decorate, calendars to decorate, key rings to decorate. Make the gifts, offer the gifts (grand-parents are generally very keen).
  • Useful gifts: we love magnets in our house and we play and use them on our fridge.
  • Bath products: as my children are getting older, they love bath products. We choose them non toxic and eco friendly.
  • Ask family members to participate in one big gift: you want to offer a bike, a wobble board, a playhouse for the garden but it’s pricey: pool up together for a big gift! I still remember to these days that everyone in my family participated to buy me my bike and my music player!

Do you have any other ideas? Share in comment!

Need more ideas? Check the favourite toys in my playgroup and my children Christmas lists from last year!

Next to come, Christmas gifts ideas to play outdoor!

Are you dreading Christmas? Would you like to simplify before the big day? Join our FREE online class to declutter the toys and select the right Montessori inspired toys for your child. We will also discuss how to deal with family and relatives, how to approach Santa Claus ideas, share Montessori inspired activities for the holidays and how to have a simple peaceful Christmas time.

 

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About the Author Carine Robin

Carine Robin is a a mother of 2 children. She raises them the Montessori way. Originally from Belgium where she worked as a child psychologist for several years, Carine spent 6 years in Ireland before settling in in the UK. She qualified as a Montessori teacher 10 years ago and has since worked as Montessori teacher and preschool manager. She founded Montessori-family in 2011 to provide opportunities for parents to discover Montessori. She believes that it’s truly possible to implement the Montessori ideas at home to make your house and family life welcoming to your child, her needs and her thrive for independence. She offers parents & babies classes, toddlers playgroups; Montessori home designs, one to one support, parenting classes and online courses.

  • Great ideas my sons birthday is close to Christmas so we end up with double the amount of toys and I find i have to have a big clear out beforehand.

  • Great ideas! We often ask grandparents to buy a membership for somewhere local that we can use all year round, this is a brilliant gift!

  • Katy Stevens says:

    There are some fantastic ideas here! Especially the bank account and stocks one!

  • This is spot on advice! I felt like this for my daughter’s birthday, so family clubbed together to give her a princess makeover experience. She loved it and she really didn’t need any more toys!
    A friend also gave her a llama walking experience! Love it!

  • Charlotte says:

    this is so good! I love how thoughtful people are but we don’t have the space for all the giant gifts everyone insists on getting!

  • Kira says:

    Some great ideas . We got a national trust family pass once – was the best present !

  • aww i love some of these, especially the classes and membership ideas. such a great alternative.

  • tots2travel says:

    Products that they love but can use are a good idea. As you say bath products perhaps in a Paw Patrol theme or something along those lines,

  • Cathy Glynn says:

    Some really good ideas. Gee loves what I call rubbish and won’t let go of it, even though it’s probably not age appropriate x

  • What a fab idea! I’m dreading Christmas to be honest, the kids already have SO much stuff! These are great gift ideas!

  • Kara says:

    We have a very strict budget for xmas so my kids don’t get that much – we prefer to spend money on their birthdays

  • Emma says:

    I have asked for lots of playdoh, sticker books and money towards our travels next year. It can be so easy to go overboard at Christmas.

  • Steph says:

    What a fantastic list of gifts. I’m going to save this for Xmas ideas

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