Crap-Free Holiday Gifts for Kids

The season is here.. the seasons is here.. and I know it because just yesterday there were 12 catalogs in my mail box, where usually there is a just a water bill. Toys and food gifts and lots-o-plastic-crap oh my!

Might I be so bold as to suggest that we take this year to jump off this crazy ride and bring some sanity back to the gift giving ritual? No more crappy plastic toys to clutter the landfill next year. No dolls that do disgusting things or action figures centered on killing. How about some positive, educational gifts that are low on the plastic and the clutter?

This is part 1 of a growing list.. check back over the course of this week as the list grows!

1) Boomerang Audio Magazine -  With a new issue every 6ish weeks covering topics as diverse and complicated (but interesting!) as a kids level look at the economic collapse to funny jokes and puns this is a gift that keeps on giving since kids can listen to it over and over. We have been BOOM listeners for years.. in fact my dad got the kids hooked on these  so long ago that they used to send us cassette tapes!  (  ages 6 and up)

2) Go big and give them a kid friendly MP3 player  with grown up style but a down to earth price tag for listening to the Boomerang  and lots of other great kid friendly programming. After making some costly mistakes I give two thumbs up to the Sansa Scan disc for both music and books on tape (WARNING- don't get a shuffle-only style player if you pick some other brand or the book chapters will not stay in order- ask me how we learned that!) (ages 6 and up)

3) Let them remember you every month with the fantastic magazines from Carus Publishing.  My kids have grown up on these fantastic magazines made just for kids who are bright and inquisitive and appreciate learning fun facts about the world around them. At one point thanks to my wonderful father my kids were getting each and every magazine published by Carus so weekly there was always a bit of sunshine in the mailbox, no matter if it was MUSE or Click  or my favorite -  DIG the archaeology magazine the kids were thrilled to see what we received each week and I was so happy for them to be reading quality content that I never worried about- priceless

4) Do you have a young butcher, baker or  candle stick maker on your list?.. How about creating them a kit full or REAL items to pursue their hobby. Children as young as 5 can use a simple sewing machine so why bother with with a toy?  OR do you have one that loves to bake?.. avoid the dreaded Easy Bake  oven fiasco and make them a gift basket full of real cooking utensils  that are just their size. The Toysmith set is the real deal and quite well made. I have linked up some of my favorites that I think are worth the money. I especially like the mama and me baking book and live to give it as a gift with the Paula Dean Kit... I also like to do embroidered aprons with this gift.. so sweet and both boys and girls just love them!

Ok.. that is my first 4... check back during the week .. I will be adding more!

Some of the links included run through my Amazon store.. the pennies they drop in my account each day from the  links I host pay for a total upgrade in my shampoo from Suave to Aussie.. so I  ( and my hair)appreciate each time you use one to do your holiday shopping!


Janey Millar said...

Totally with you on this. I am fed up with the mountains of toys in our house that rarely get played with so the kids are getting one big ticket item and one other thing each and nothing else this year! I also told all the family to contribute cash for outdoor garden gear like a trampoline. And we have told the children this is what is happening so they won't be disappointed!

Love the Boomerang idea.

Brenda Cregger said...

Maddie you are right on the mark on this one. Way too mch "stuff" going to the landfill because it does not hold interest very long.
Thanks for sharing.

B. said...

we all need a push in the direction of frugality. thank you


Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy said...

As a simplicity-loving woman with 4 kids and a small house, can I just say keep the good ideas coming!

(My 6-year-old has been begging for a sewing machine. I'm thinking about it and am off to check out that model...)

Diane R said...

Art supplies - crayons, markers, paint, and the right paper for each one. Nothing thrills like new crayons and new markers. You do NOT have to use the old ones down to a nubbin - donate the old ones to the Community Kitchen or Women's Shelter or a day care in a low income neighborhood - they go through vast amounts of markers and crayons and could use your last year leftovers.