As a team of moms with little ones, we all want our kids to grow up valuing people and experiences more than just things
With the holidays around the corner and gifting season in full swing, we’ve been thinking about how fortunate we are to live in a world of abundance, where most of us have just too many things for our little ones. So it’s only natural that our kids may not always fully appreciate gifts of more stuff, and why after a few weeks most gifts end up in a closet or somewhere else out of sight, forgotten.
Gifts that build memories on the other hand, are perfect for little ones who have it all (and parents who don’t want to accumulate more than what they need). From our collective experiences, we’ve put together some meaningful gift ideas that your little ones are sure to appreciate – long after the wrapping paper is gone!
Share a book of memoriesToddlers love flipping through a book of their favourite people. While creating a scrapbook may be a big time commitment, today there are plenty of apps and websites where you can upload your phone or Instagram photos, use one of the templates to design your photo book, and receive a hardcopy in the mail.
How to wrap it: We recommend printing your photo book in a board book format if possible, as they are easy for little hands to hold and flip the pages. Wrap, gift… and wait for it to be opened with a smile!
Gift an experienceTurn a spare mason jar into an experience jar by filling it with things your child would enjoy doing with you. This could be anything from baking a dessert to going out to their favourite juice bar or building a fantasy castle. Let your child bring the jar out once a week or month and get excited about picking out their next date with you.
How to wrap it: Write out a card about each experience and pop them into the mason jar. Refresh the jar with new experiences as they run out. For more ideas, read our founder’s story of how she put this gift together.
Show your kids the worldIf you travel on a regular basis, bring back a postcard with a handwritten note for your child (or better yet – mail it!) from every place you visit. If your little one is too small to read, describe the destination through the visuals on the postcard. It’ll make their day when they receive your card!
How to wrap it: Gift a map or globe so they can follow your travels and throw in a scrapbook so they can collect all the postcards you’ll be sending and cherish them when they’re grown up too.
Make playtime more specialIn today’s world where one is always multi-tasking, children love one-on-one time with the important people in their lives. Make time for play where you would be fully present, leaving your phone and any other interruptions behind.
How to wrap it: Curate a box filled with toys, crafts, puzzles or activities that could be labeled a ‘special box’ and explain to your child that this will only come out (for example) for 1 hour once a week during ‘special time’ with you. Your child will look forward to activities they don’t have access to every day… and also spending quality time with you! Refresh the box with new activities every few months.
Give back togetherPick a volunteer activity the whole family can do together to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and other milestones. Not only would you be giving the family an amazing gift they’ll remember, you’ll also be developing your child’s compassion and empathy for others in need.
How to wrap it: Put together an event invitation, print on card paper and wrap it.
At Masilo, we’ve put together baby boxes for less privileged mothers from upcycled fabrics, which you can hand out in person through a local NGO of your choice. Photo of the babies enjoying their care packages will be memories for life. Learn more about our baby boxes here.
What are your go-to gifts for little ones that would be meaningful? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you!