Last Friday (Black Friday) as I walked through the war-torn aisles of Toys R Us, I couldn't stand the thought of bringing one more useless toy into the house, knowing full well that it would likely be forgotten within a few days and sent to Goodwill within a year. I hate that I've become fond of video games as gifts only because I know they get used and they don't take up much space.
Each December Ethan's preschool sends home a great "alternative gift list". I just couldn't throw it in the recycle this year without posting it where I knew I could always find it (here :-). So, here's the fabulous list (with a few of my own embellishments) that inspires me every year to think outside the (toy) box:
HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR YOUR CHILD (from Totline Parent Flyer)
If your house is overflowing with forgotten toys, try these gift-giving alternatives this year. Friends and relatives might also appreciate suggestions for practical, meaningful gifts for your child.
Subscriptions - Children's magazines, book clubs, activity books
Lessons - Music, tennis, art, gymnastics, ballet, swimming, computer
Tools for Learning - Globe, pens and pencils, magnifying glass, magnets, puzzle books, reference books.
Games - Concentration, lotto, deck of playing cards, dice, marbles, number games
Music - CD or iPod player, CDs, iTunes cards, musical instruments
Tools for Creativity - Special kinds of paper, felt tip markers, crayons, stickers, rubber stamps, paints, pipe cleaners, colored duct tape, yarn
Things to Build With - Blocks, building sets, hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, nails, scrap wood
Special Keepsakes - Photo of you as a child, a favorite old toy or book, your first teddy bear, a scrapbook or photo DVD
Entertainment - Tickets to a play, movie, or other special performance, roller skating passes, bowling passes, climbing wall passes, zoo or museum memberships
New Hobbies - Art posters and children's art books, camera, photo album, soccer ball and jersey, kid's cookbook with apron and cooking utensils
Your Time - A special day spent together, doing an activity of the child's choice