What Works for Us | Favorite Gifts

Each year without fail, Christmas and birthdays come rolling around.

They happen whether you are ready for them or not. Sometimes we feel like there is that special item our kids have been begging for or if you are a Dad like me, there is that item you gravitate towards every time you look down the toy aisle at Target.  Yep, I still love the toy aisle and I’m currently 33.

Here are a few of those toys our kids can’t seem to put down (*Amazon affiliate links included):

  • Magformers – on the pricier side, but our kids will build with these, take them apart, build something else over and over again and they are indestructible (thus far)
  • Strider Bike – we got this for our son who is now 6 and he totally skipped the training wheel stage.  Our middle son, Pax, who is now 3 picked it up and loves cruising on it.
  • Constructive Playthings Blender – We might have boys, but they have always loved making food in their play kitchen and this item takes play cooking to another level.
  • Legos – Pretty sure it is almost impossible for most legos to break, they never get old and this is an item I love sitting down to play with my boys.  Currently, they are all really into the Star Wars sets.
  • Hot Wheels (my personal favorite) – I have to admit that this is a personal favorite of mine as the tracks are cheap, the age span of play with these is HUGE and you can make tracks throughout the house.

Many times, however, our small home doesn’t need another toy, so over the last few years we have started asking family members for experiences as gifts.  Last year we got one-year passes to the Arizona Science Center – making it so we could go whenever we wanted.  The kids LOVED it, always learned something new and it was a nice change of scenery when we needed to get out of the house.

This year, we asked for tickets to the Phoenix Zoo and our animal-loving boys are in heaven.  Having a pass to places like these work great with small children because you can drop by the zoo for a couple hours and then leave without stressing that you didn’t get to pet the goats or milk the pretend cow.  I also love that they have water play areas throughout the zoo (especially important in Phoenix summers).

What “non toy” items do you love?  Do you get a yearly membership to a specific place?

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  1. I love the gift ideas! How do you or would you handle family members who want to give the kids a toy they can open rather than an “experience” gift? We struggle with this issue sometimes.

    1. Michelle that is a great question and not always an easy one to answer. We started by just explaining to individuals we were close to, that we were trying to simplify things and that we recently purged a good amount of the kids toys. Another important detail to remember is that once you get a gift that is an “experience” make sure to take pictures of the fun your kids had and share those with the gift giver via a thank you card or online via facebook. Nothing helps like a little positive reinforcement 😉

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