Whether it’s the upcoming holiday season, or your child’s birthday, you may be getting phone calls from well-intentioned grandparents, aunts, uncles and other special friends who want to give your child a memorable gift and need a few ideas.
Discussing the gift situation with relatives and loved ones in advance can make sure it’s a great outcome for all. If you feel like you’re already blessed with a house full of toys, why not consider a gift for your child that will last beyond a few hours of playtime?
We’ve put together a list of gifts that kids won’t get bored of, they won’t expire and they’ll be grateful for years to come. Scroll down to get inspired and feel free to share this list with your family and friends.
1. Family Travel
Whether it’s a road trip, a camping adventure, or a big trip to a “magical” kingdom, kids love planning for a special family vacation. By tipping friends and family off about family travel plans, they can help chip in with special items like sleeping bags, road trips games, or even a camera to make the experience extra memorable.
2. Letters from the Heart
This is a perfect way to remember, and remind a special child, about their milestones, important events and hilarious sayings. A grandparent can gift one each year for your child on the same date, like their birthday. After they’re read, you can put them away for safe keeping and on your child’s 18th birthday, you can give them the collection of letters, like Reese Witherspoon did for her daughter, Ava.
3. A Love of Reading
Encouraging kids to read is an ongoing challenge for parents. A gift of a magazine subscription (National Geographic Kids, Highlights and TIME for Kids are a few of our favorites), eBook or Audible subscription from a loved one inspires a lifelong love of reading; a priceless gift.
4. Repurpose Precious Clothing
Friends and family often gift onesies, baby blankets and kiddie t-shirts over the years. Did you know they can transform all those special baby clothes into heirloom-quality memory quilts, stuffed animals, pillows, christmas stockings, wall art and more? Invite grandparents and special friends to visit Etsy to tap into the creative genius of dozens of talented seamstresses, DIYers and crafters.
5. The Gift of Education
Your kid may already have a piggy bank, but that jar of coins is not going to put them through college unless you start applying the principles of investing. There is no better way to ramp up a college savings plan than invite the whole family to contribute. Grandparents, aunts and uncles can contribute as little as $50 for each birthday or special holiday. By starting the habit of investing in education early, the whole family will enjoy the excitement of a child leaving for college. No matter their age, you can start now with a savings account like the 529 College Savings Plan from T. Rowe Price. Friends and family can give two ways, either online at the GoTuition gifting portal or by sending in a Gift Contribution Slip.
6. Weekend Adventures
Multiple studies show that giving experiences rather than gifts can be so much more meaningful. What greater gift can you give your kids than play time? Consider asking relatives to gift your child with an experience — think zoo, aquarium, and museum memberships, or a gift card to their favorite roller rink or trampoline park.
7. Treasure Chest
Invite the grandparents to help your kids create their own treasure chest with a wooden trunk that you add to each year. To keep it from overflowing, try to choose only one object each year — it’s like a time capsule for their future. Add notes, photos and postcards (which don’t take up as much space) throughout the year. The key is to make it a memorable ritual you can do together.
8. Family Photos
Families often like to memorialize birthdays with family photos, especially milestone birthdays like Baby’s First. Friends and family can offer to take the pictures of the special day (or splurge and hire a photographer) so the whole family can get in the picture. The pictures will last a lifetime.
9. 1-on-1 Outings
Children from large families may not get much 1-on-1 time with a special aunt, uncle or grandparent. A trip to the mall, dinner and a movie or a visit to a playground may feel extra special when it’s just the two of you.
What are your favorite non-toy gifts for kids ? Tell us in a comment below.
The T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan is offered by the Education Trust of Alaska. You should compare this Plan with any 529 college savings plan offered by your home state or your beneficiary’s home state and consider, before investing, any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in the home state’s plan. Please read the Plan’s Disclosure Document, which includes investment objectives, risks, fees, charges and expenses, and other information you should consider carefully before investing. T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc., Distributor/Underwriter.