What do you do when you're invited to a party for a kid who has everything? Or maybe it's your own child's birthday that's coming up—and you're dreading adding to a playroom that's already overflowing with barely used gadgets and games. If this sounds familiar, try thinking outside of the (gift-wrapped) box and consider giving a child an activity or experience as a present, or something that's both fun and useful—and will get used up. We've got you covered with these sure-to-please ideas:
1. A Subscription Box
Sign up for a one-time or monthly kids' subscription box (think Kiwi Crate for little crafters, KidStir, for cooks, or Tinker Crate for STEM). They'll have the fun of getting a package in the mail, plus a cool activity do.
2. Music Lessons
Music lessons can be pricey, so giving one—or a series—of lessons can be a real gift not just for the child but for his or her parent, too! For wee ones, consider gifting a mommy-baby music class.
3. Tickets to a Show
Whether it's tickets to a concert, a play, or a dance performance, giving tickets to an event gives kids something to look forward to.
4. Bedroom Decorations
Kids love a space they can decorate on their own. So, what do they really want for their room? A poster of the Eiffel Tower? A rug featuring their favorite sport? Go and find that special item.
5. Art Supplies
Perfect for an up-and-coming artist, fill a basket or bucket with creativity-inspiring items likefancy paper, markers, googly eyes, stickers, glitter glue, and more.
6. Tickets to a Movie
Give a child a gift card for two tickets to their local movie theater—or plan to bring them to a show if there's a must-see kid flick currently in the theaters. Spring for treats, too!
7. Magazine Subscriptions
Choose a magazine that fits their interests and help foster a love of reading. It is always fun to receive mail—and kids will be thrilled to get a new issue every month.
8. Gardening Gear
Kids love to take care of living things, and if you're looking for a gift for a budding gardener, put together a package of seeds, seedings, kid-sized gardening gloves, and a watering can. Who knows, you might be gifted with herbs or flowers in return!
9. A Sleepover Kit
Gift an older kid with the necessary gear for a fun sleepover: A kid-sized sleeping bag, personalized pillow case, and a small toiletry kit with travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush.
10. A Calendar with Special Dates
This is a fun gift for your own child: Pick a calendar that features her favorite animal or character, and pen in special dates. Schedule birthdays, celebrations, play dates, and movie nights.
11. A Cooking Class and Supplies
Know a budding chef? Give him a gift certificate to a local cooking class, and his own kid-friendly apron and cooking tools.
12. Activity Passes
Energetic kids who love to be active will appreciate passes to indoor trampoline parks, rock climbing gyms, swimming pools, or bounce houses. Their parents will appreciate an out-of-the-house activity that tires out their kiddos!
13. A Cultural Outing
Buy a day-pass to a butterfly garden, planetarium, science museum, children's museum, or a zoo.