By Janeen Lewis
Parents want Christmas to be magical. Sometimes this means driving all over town or frantically searching online for trendy toys or gadgets only to find that children grow bored and banish them to the back of the closet or toy box after the holidays. This Christmas, why not give your child the gift of time by picking out an activity you can do together? Try one of these experience-gift ideas and pair it with a related fun item to go under the tree.
A Heart for the Arts
Is your child a budding Van Gogh or drama queen? Here are some ideas for visual and performing arts gifts.
•A membership or ticket to tour an art museum
•A day at a paint-your-own pottery place
•Parent and child painting class
•The book 13 Artists Children Should Know by Angela Wenzel
•Ed Emberley’s Drawing books
•A table and chair that it is okay to drip paint on
•Paint pens, gel crayons, or oil pastels
•Makeup kits for actors
•Tap, jazz, or ballet shoes
•A costume representing a favorite character
Crafty and Creative
Does your child like to create projects over time? Maybe you’re a maker-minded parent that wants your child to learn practical life skills. Here are some ideas to get your hobbyist started:
•Knitting or crocheting classes
•Home Depot free woodworking classes
•Sewing classes at JoAnn Fabrics
•Crafts class at Michael’s
•Beginning jewelry making classes
•Lessons in glasswork
•Bath bomb, soap, or lotion making lessons
•Knit or crochet kit for kids
•The book,Woodland Crochet: 12 Precious Projects to Stitch and Snuggle by Kristen Rask
•Young Woodworker’s Project Kit from Lakeshore Learning (includes everything needed to build a small corner shelf, toolbox, and treasure chest)
•Beginner sewing machine like the Singer Start 1304
•Origami or craft paper
•Beads or jewelry making kit
•Materials to make bath bombs, bath salts, soaps, or lotions
Sports are not only a fun way for a child to get exercise, but they also provide an opportunity for parents to connect to kids.
•Tickets to a professional sporting event
•Tour a sporting stadium or Hall of Fame
•Membership or admission to an ice or roller skating rink
•Lessons with a private coach for a favorite sport
•Batting facility membership
•Professional or college team jerseys or hats
•Ticket stub diary to hold memorable sporting event stubs
•Fitness tracker watch
•Gymnastics or yoga mat
•Over the door basketball hoop
You could be raising the next Pioneer Woman or Bobby Flay. Support their love of creating dishes with these fun ideas.
•Kroger Chef Junior classes on Saturdays at participating stores
•Dinner at a fine dining, gourmet, or culturally diverse restaurants to explore different foods
•MasterChef Junior Cooking Essentials Set
•Personalized chef apron, jacket, or hat
•MindWare Playful Chef Knife Kit (it really cuts but is safe for kids)
•Make Your Own Chocolate Kit
•Kid Chef: The Foodie Kids Cookbook by Melina Hammer
Wild About Books
Book gifts don’t have to be boring! Spice up your present by making stories come alive and adding a cool reading gadget.
•Visit a storytelling venue
•Attend an author visit or book signing of your child’s favorite author
•E-reader, like a Kindle or Nook
•Magnetic clip bookmarks
•Comfy bean bag chair
•Personalized book stamp
Clothes and accessories are always a hit at Christmas, especially if you have teens in the house. These ideas show your fashion lover you care about their style.
•Go to a fashion show
•Mommy and Me mani-pedis
•My First Fashion Designer by Lakeshore Learning. This kit includes a miniature dress form, cloth swatches, and buttons to create runway designs.
•A mix and match fashion drawing set like Fashion Plates
•A chic hat, scarf, gloves, or earmuffs
•Faux Fur accessories
•Animal print scarf or leggings
•FabKids subscription box
•Gift card to favorite clothing store
If your child loves STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), these are great ideas.
•Membership at a nature center
•Membership to a children’s museum
•Computer camp or classes
•Join a maker space
•Science subscription boxes like Groovy Lab in a Box and Kiwi Crate
•Lego Master Builders Academy
A Flair for Design
Help your child find their inner interior designer with these gift ideas.
•Consult with a local interior decorator and use your child’s ideas to design his or her bedroom or playroom makeover
•Klutz Design Your Dream Room. This portfolio lets your child explore with patterns, color, space, and 300 punch-out pieces to design a room.
•Paint for a bedroom or playroom picked out by your child
•Sheets, bedspread, curtains, or designer pillows
•Lamps, desk set, or wall art
Get outdoors and enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, or more with your child.
•Membership in the Wild Explorers Club
•Membership at a nature center
•White water rafting trip
•Beginner SCUBA diving lessons
•Fishing rod and gear
•Canoe or kayak
All kids enjoy quiet conversation over a warm cup of tea.
•Book a teatime at a tearoom
•Plant an indoor herb garden from which to make herbal tea (try chamomile, lavender, and peppermint)
•Tea pot and cup
•Costume necklaces, hats, gloves, and purse to wear to teatime
•Tea pot necklace
•Scones and tea biscuits