It’s that time of year again… the season of gift-giving and family time! But all that gift-giving can truly add a lot of extra clutter around your home. That, in itself, can be incredibly overwhelming.
So, instead of asking for all the toys that just end up cluttering your home, why not ask for unique gifts that don’t take up much space in your home? Rather, think of more experiences, events, and activities that can be given as gifts!
There is extensive research on the topic of too many toys and a child’s ability to concentrate and care for their possessions. Children, especially young children, are still learning executive functioning skills, such as creating a plan and executing said plan. If they have too many choices, then they are unable to concentrate on said plan. This translates into kids saying they are “bored”. They aren’t really “bored”–but because they can’t easily focus on one toy at one time, they get overwhelmed.
Below I share how to start the toy clean out process. Once that’s done, check out all of the unique gift ideas that your kids will love that won’t clutter your home!
Sort and Clean Out Toys
Start by gathering up about two-thirds of your kids’ toys and store them for rotation. Each month, bring out a few new bins of toys while you put away other bins of toys that were not played with as frequently. To do this easily, I suggest getting all the same bins for every category of toy you have in your home. Then only keep between 5-8 bins out and a few correlating larger toys. For example, if you have a bin of cars and trucks, then larger cars and trucks can be out as well.
Store the remaining toys in a separate location where the kids don’t have access. Set a reminder on your phone to swap out toys once a month (or more frequently if needed). For more on how to clear the clutter on kids’ toys, you can check out this post and get the free 6 step printable!!
Now, I’m not saying toys can’t be gifts ever. I am just saying be mindful of the amount of toys your kids want. Have your kids assess their toys and ask for toys they would like to grow their collection of already-owned types of toys. Do they love Hot Wheels? Maybe the can ask for a new Hot Wheels Track if they don’t have one already. This helps you put away toys into already categorized bins, instead of trying to “find a place” because they own nothing else like that toy and have already forgotten about it!
To help keep the toy clutter at bay, try asking for these unique gifts for kids instead of just toys from every family member!
Unique Gifts For Kids That Don’t Clutter Your Home
Unique Gift Idea #1: Classes
Is there an activity or class your child really wants to participate in? Why not ask for the gift of a class?! My kiddos’ each received the gift of a cooking class last year. In addition to a photo of the cooking class, they were given a wooden spoon and mixing bowl. By adding something to the gift of a class or activity, young children will slowly start to realize that this was given to them by a family member, which is always such a nice present!
Unique Gift Idea #2: Plays
Each year, my kids get the gift of going to a play with the grandparents. We have a local theater that puts on kids’ plays. This is a great gift because spending time with the grandparents can be fun for the kids, and they get to experience a play or musical. Local high school theaters or local children’s theater companies have plays that are perfect for most ages.
Unique Gift Idea #3: Subscriptions
Whether it’s a magazine subscription or a monthly box subscription, this is a fun option to reduce extra toy clutter from your home this holiday season. We love the Highlights Magazine Hidden Picture magazines at home and in the car. We also have Kiwi Crate and would like to try Little Passports as well. With so many subscription options available, this is such a fun monthly gift the kids can receive throughout the year, rather than just at one time during the holiday season.
Unique Gift Idea #4: Memberships
Another option for younger children is to get a membership to a local children’s museum, zoo, or play space. When my kids were young, we received the gift of a membership to our local children’s museum and it was amazing.I took them to the museum every week and didn’t have to worry about finding an activity to do in the middle of winter or the heat of summer.
Unique Gift Idea #5: Art Boxes
My kids are really into crafting activities. So we love getting craft boxes so they can just create whenever they feel inclined. My favorite craft box is from Kid Made Modern. I love this art box because kids can actually use everything in the box to make stuff! Other craft boxes come with things like tissue paper that is always thrown away because the kids never use it for anything. But in this box, you get different size pipe cleaners, sewing items, beads, pom poms, felt, and glue.
Unique Gift Idea #6: Photo Books
Another fun gift we love receiving are photo books. They make adorable stocking stuffers or just a fun present for the kids! After years of photo book making, the sites I use the most are Chatbooks, Mixbook, or Minted. Chatbooks is super easy with very little work to create. Mixbook allows for some creativity. And with Minted you can create other photo gifts in addition to or instead of a book. This is a great option if you don’t need an entire book, just a few pictures to be displayed.
More Unique Gifts For Kids
Still unsure of gift ideas for kids? Check out this post from last year, where I created a minimalist gift guide!
Unique Gifts For Adults
Need ideas for adults in your life? Check out this post on my favorite options for family gifts!!