As our kids get older it is harder to keep the screens away. This is where experiences can come in.

It’s one of the most joyful (and expensive) times of the year! Holiday toy lists are growing, and it can get very overwhelming to decide what to get a loved one, especially the little ones. As a mother of a five- and three-year-old, I can tell you firsthand the lists continue to grow. After each holiday season our playroom seems to be filled with all the toys, but after just a few weeks, sometimes days, those toys are no longer played with.

Why not change it up this year — give the gift of an experience or a toy that can help our children learn and grow!

Below are some ideas for different age groups:

Ages 0-1

We can’t forget about our littlest loves! Although they may not be old enough to make a holiday toy list, Beright Wooden Baby Walker doubles as a push and pull activity, and it offers an activity center that helps develop motor skills.

Ages 2-4

This age is so fun and offers a variety of different options for mentally stimulating toys that never get old.

  • Wooden blocks
  • Name or mini puzzles can help your loved one learn to spell their name. Below is a great option to help learn shapes and colors, too.
  • Balance bike: this is a great way to help with gross motor skills and help transfer your child to a bike without training wheels. Not to mention, an opportunity to get outside and burn energy!

Ages 5-10

  • Bracelet making kit, great opportunity to use creativity and fine motor skills!
  • Magna-Tiles (this can go to multiple age groups)
  • Art cases and crafts are opportunities for creativity
  • Roller skates
  • Science kit, give the gift of STEM
  • Instead of a joke book, why not give the gift of facts so we can all learn something new!

Ages 11-15

As our kids get older it is harder to keep the screens away. This is where experiences can come in. Make a lasting memory by taking them on a short overnight trip, a concert or just having a special day with them doing all their favorite things.

Other ideas:

  • New bike or any sort of athletic gear that they may be interested in
  • Tennis shoes
  • Kindle
  • Age-appropriate games for a family game night!

Age 15 and older

Same goes for this age group, experiences go a long way.

Other gift ideas:

  • Membership to an exercise class like, yoga
  • New tennis shoes, cold weather athletic gear to help our loved ones get outside in the winter months
  • Fitbit/or any digital sports watch
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Kindle

And finally, some experience ideas:

  • Membership to your local zoo
  • Membership to your local children’s or art museum
  • Money towards an activity like gymnastics, dance or taekwondo

If you are really struggling on how to go about holiday shopping this year, I recently heard a saying that was helpful to me when it comes to buying for kids: “Something they want, something they need, something they wear and something they read.” We hope this offers some fun and healthy holiday gift ideas!

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Chicken Satay

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Catherine Kirkhoff

Authored By

Catherine Kirkhoff

Director of Kinetiq Health

Catherine works with our client services team and wellness vendors to empower clients to implement, manage and measure their health and wellness initiatives. She manages the day-to-day activities of the team of analysts and clinicians driving Kinetiq Health program strategy for Apex clients.

Before joining Apex, Catherine worked in public health for six years as a curriculum coordinator for the Marion County Public Health Department. During that time, she earned her CHES and CLS certifications and provided health education throughout the community and schools in Marion County.

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