Hello! Nearly Christmas time! Do you have everything you need for your children? When I'm…
Are you dreading the number of toys your children will receive this Christmas?
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 list, 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
- Clothes: yes we always ask for clothes as gifts especially from grandparents because they have very good taste and my children love those gifts
- My children are now in the Elementary years, 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 whoever 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 savings 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 sit 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 being 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, keyrings 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 a comment!
Need more ideas? Check the gift lists here.
Every year, I offer a free mini-course to Simplify Christmas. It's all by email and you will receive a workbook, access to videos and printables. Subscribe below!