Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thinking Outside the (Toy) Box

Last year Isaac's favorite Christmas gift was a stack of cut 2x4s. He was slightly disappointed that Santa didn't think to leave nails too, but thank goodness Dad had plenty in the garage to share. This is the same kid who wanted nothing more than his own rolls of Scotch tape for his 3rd and 4th birthdays. On that same note, one of the most used "toys" in our household this year was a huge sheet of whiteboard that Brent bought at Home Depot for about $12 and mounted to a wall. The kids have spent countless hours drawing and coloring on their wall-sized canvas.

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


Angela said...

I love it!

Melissa Walker said...

I played with a bunch of two by fours as a kid--but I have to say I would have been mad if it had been my present! Nice imaginations there!

lissiemarie said...

Thanks! so helpful!