Christmas is coming, and parents have to adopt the role of Santa for their kids, sneaking around in the depths of the night to drop off presents.
While the norm is for kids to have new toys, this year, why not try something different with our list of non-toys gift ideas?
1. Activity Passes
“I see Nemo”
Collect memories, not toys. As objects fade away and are tossed out, memories will remain with them for life. Bring them out to play at the myriad of activity spots that Singapore offers, such as the River Safari or the Universal Studios.
2. Personal Artwork Display
That blank piece of canvas will soon be turned into a masterpiece.
Kids will draw all year round – for their classes in school or at home to occupy themselves. Choose one or two quality pieces and frame them. After they open up their gifts, hang the pictures up around the house. Can’t choose just one or two? You can use take pictures of the drawings and create your own collages to maximise the amount of images you can show off to your relatives as they come over for the holidays.
3. An Edible Surprise
Gift them a (usually) forbidden food!
Parents usually draw the line when it comes to giving kids certain foods. We do not want kids spoiling their appetites just before a meal or submit ourselves to a kid’s sugar rush. This holiday season, ease off that restriction and wrap up a yummy treat that you know your kid loves but do not get the chance to eat that often. It can be the Bonheur Patisserie Macarons or Lays brand Potato Chips from the NTUC next door, your kid will be delighted at finding the usually forbidden treat.
4. Mummy/ Daddy Dates
Grab some 1 to 1 time!
Give your kid a token representing a date with one of you. It can be goggles for a date at the swimming pool or a flower for a trip to the Gardens By The Bay. A single date will be treasured by your kid where he or she will get some quality alone time with you.
Do not gift them an Encyclopedia to start off with!
Your kid will probably be curious about the world outside. Sadly, a trip to the moon or back in time to see the dinosaurs is not possible. So you can do the next best thing and gift your kid a book about the topic of interest! You can use this opportunity to spend some time and read the book together, or discuss about the topic once both of you have read the book.
You may even be surprised at your kid’s choice!
A kid does not have the chance to dictate much about his or her own life. The meals are prepared by you parents, they cannot go out on their own to explore the world. Let them make some decisions by giving them a chance to choose what is for dinner tomorrow, or decide on where to go for next week’s outing. It can come in a form of a slip of paper which gives it a semblance of authority.
7. Art Supplies
Fill it up with ideas!
Your kid will not be able to create the masterful pieces to hang up if they do not have the tools. Avoid pre-packaged tools such as a set of colour pencils and assemble your own set for your kid. Include materials that require the using of their imagination instead of simple colouring books. Put in goggly eyes, beads, glue and personalise it with your kid’s name and let the kid’s imagination loose.
8. Personal Space
Gift them a corner to relax in!
Kids may be all around the house all day and night, but they will love a personal space to call their own. Think of their favourite hobbies or activities they love to engage in and customise a corner of the house accordingly. Does your kid love to play soccer? Draw cartoons? Tell jokes? Your kid will be thrilled to see a place dedicated just for them. The space does not need to be huge, a tent opened up in a corner of the room makes for a great reading spot. A small working space makes kids aware that messes do not matter there, allowing them to expand and explore their artistic flair.
9. Photo Books
Record your memories now and you will be able to look back at them!
Kids will probably be fascinated to see images of themselves. The younger years mark a period of time where they experience the greatest amount of change. This can be recorded in photo books which are easily achieved through online services. You only need a few images each year to create a photo book for your kid. They will also become an activity where the two of you can look through the pictures and reminisce about the past.
He may just turn out to be the next Izwan Mahbud.
This may seem odd when we look back at our schooling days and realise how many classes we skip, but classes should not be a term of distaste for your kid. Sign them up for lessons teaching them skills that they are interested in. It can be their budding hobby of kicking a soccer ball around or their habit of belting out into song at any given chance.
11. A Unique Experience
Let them see things they have never seen before, experience events that are new and witness the world around them!
The holiday season promises the advent of special events occurring around this island nation. Bring your kid along to those events such as the One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure at the Omni-theatre, or witness the classic story of Cinderella.
You can brighten up the room with festive colours too!
Kids eventually reach a phase where they start to grow independent. Ornaments such as a personalised nameplate for their room makes for the perfect gift. Instead of a blank template of a kid’s room, giving your kid ornaments and letting him choose what and where to put them up allow for the room to reflect who they are.
Teach them about financial responsibilities too!
Most kids will love to have some spare change to spend. A few dollars for them will go a long way for kids as they decide to spend or save.
What other gifts can you suggest getting for a child? Tell us below.