Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

If you’ve attempted to fight the toy clutter at your house, you know it can sneak back in quickly and easily. A birthday party, and especially the upcoming holidays, can swiftly derail the most organized and minimalist toy collection or play room. Here’s a quick guide to keep your child’s toys on track all throughout the gift giving season.

1. Sort

Do a quick sort to get out all of those cheap Halloween spider rings, broken toys, and not so exciting anymore shiny toys, so you start out the holidays fresh. Check out my quick sorting post over at Modern Parents Messy Kids to get you started.

2. Rotate

Parents tell me over and over again that when they rotate their child’s toys they see two things: what their child really likes and what their child may need from the toy department. For example, when you rotate, especially according to the Little Stories method, you quickly see that you may need more toys that encourage pretend or focused thinking. Once you know this information you’re already primed to get really special gifts this year. So, get rotating! Here are three toy rotation posts to get you started and answer all of your questions:

3. Create

Now it’s time to create the perfect gift list…

  • Review the Toy Rules. Remember those? Start by making sure that you have these good toy rules clearly in your mind before you begin to see all of that enticing (but short-term and empty) funness.
  • Get everyone involved. Depending on your child’s age, you may choose to involve him in the list making or not. Involving both parents is key in making sure you have had a discussion about good toys and that you are both on the same page. Another great idea is to talk to family members about including activities and “family dates” on the list instead of toys. Kids love to have a date with grandma full of baking cookies and ending with a movie night or a trip with Daddy to a special nearby museum or amusement park. Think experiences over things.
  • Get organized. A great place to keep your list of things is on an Amazon Wishlist because you can make one for every member of the family and easily share. There’s even an Amazon Wishlist browser button for your toolbar so you can add things to the list that are on websites other than Amazon. Then when someone purchases an item off the list it won’t show it to others, so it works much like a gift registry.
  • Share the list! A list is helpful, especially for family, who may not share or be as aware or understanding of your toy values. Without a list they will certainly be tempted to buy the shiny, flashing, plastic things they see around. With a list they will hopefully also begin to internalize good toys by seeing great examples.

What’s on your child’s list this year? How do you keep the gift giving from turning to excess?

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2 Responses
  1. Fantastic Kim! You Know I needed this. I can’t believe how many traps I fall into around toys. I really struggle with relatives not really understanding what we are trying to achieve with a more minimalist approach! You have some really great tips, as always! Thank you!!!
    Alisha @ YourKidsTable recently posted..Introducing The Early Childhood Specialists Pinterest Board!My Profile

  2. I’ve been following along with your recommendations – just rotated and cleaned out toys last week (and I’m amazed with how much more my children are now again PLAYING with their toys rather than just dumping them all out and about). We have an Amazon wishlist set up for them already, but now I’m off to check out your “good toy rules” post. These posts are WONDERFUL!! Thanks!
    Andrea :: Crafting Connections recently posted..Finding Gratitude in Mini-TraditionsMy Profile

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