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science says

instead of giving toys… give gifts that create memories.  They are valued more than toys.

I love toys for our kids.  Toys are wonderful… educational, creative, opening a world of play.   I am a play therapist, so kids, play & toys are my job.  However… Toys are also overflowing in our house, and if you are reading this, I’m guessing in your house, too.

I want our children to know that there is more to giving than just toys. I know that it is so fun for the kids to have new toys, but I don’t want them to stop appreciating (or remembering) what they are being given, because it is so routine for them.

Sometimes I feel like we buy just to buy.  “What does ___ want?”   Why do we all do this?  I am certainly no stranger to this notion.  I do it constantly, but I want to change this.  Last year, my brother and I decided that for each other’s kids, we would give experiences instead of toys.   My parents do this for our kids now, too.  It’s been so much better!

I’m not saying I’m going to toss out all of our toys or that our kids will stop asking for them.  Like I said, there is certainly a special place for toys in our homes and in our lives.  We use them daily, but if you want to give the best thing to a child, try giving something that creates a memory.   Take that child to the movies, on a picnic, out for ice cream.   Today, I am sharing my favorite ideas for non-toy gifts.

 non-toy gift idea to get you started:

"Make them a photo album of memories from the year (use an album where it has room for you to write and share why you loved that moment.)  Our kids each have a “firsts” book where I have a picture of their “firsts” and I write what it was right beside it.    (First time at the movies, first car ride, first time on a bike”My favorite example…  “Allie’s first photo with her big brothers”

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