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  • Writer's pictureNicci Smith

Why Experience Gifts are the Best Gifts for Kids

It's that time of year again! The holidays are just around the corner, so it's time to start thinking about what gifts to give your loved ones. If you're anything like me, you struggle with wanting to buy your kids all the things while also NOT buying your kids all the things. My husband and I try really hard to stick to our Four Gift Rule. (Read that post here!) But sometimes our home feels inundated with stuff. And, at the end of the day, we value experience and the time spent together more than stuff.

Enter Experience Gifts.

A number of years ago, we started sprinkling in "experience" gifts for their birthdays and holidays. One year we did a fire pit with all the ingredients for s'mores. The kids loved sitting out in the driveway roasting their marshmallows. They still talk about it - years later. However, none of them recall any of the "stuff" they received that year.

If that's not enough to convince you to jump on the "Experience Gift" bandwagon, maybe the following reasons will:

1. They Create Memories

When you give your child an experience gift, you give them a memory that will last a lifetime. Much like the cold 'smores experience, your children will never forget the time they went skydiving or saw their favorite band in concert. They'll look back fondly on the family game nights, movie date nights, and shared Mani/Pedi experiences. These are the kinds of experiences that stay with us long into adulthood.

2. They Help Kids Explore New Interests

Giving your child an experience gift is a great way to help them explore new interests. If they've always wanted to try skiing but you've never been able to make it happen, get them a ski lesson voucher. Or, if they love animals but have never had the chance to go on a safari, buy tickets to a nearby zoo or wildlife park. Experience gifts open up a whole world of possibilities for kids and help them discover new things about themselves.

3. They're More Meaningful Than Material possessions

These days, kids are bombarded with advertisements telling them they need the latest toy or gadget. As a result, they often develop a "means-end" mindset where they believe that material possessions will bring them happiness. But we all know that's not true! Experiences, on the other hand, are much more likely to leave a lasting impression on kids and help them appreciate the things money can't buy— like family, friends, and good memories. Plus, when kids have positive experiences, they're more likely to want to share those experiences with others instead of keeping them locked away in their bedrooms. That's what we call a win-win!

4. Experience Gifts Encourage creativity and Fun

I don't know about you, but most of the time my children panic when I turn off their electronics. They forget that they don't need to be plugged in to have fun. Experience gifts such as pottery lessons or creative writing classes help spark that creative mindset. You would be amazed at what your child is capable of when they are set free in an art room!

5. Experience Gifts are Affordable and Convenient

Experience gifts can be as affordable as you want them to be. An ice cream date or hot cocoa date doesn't need to be expensive, but the time spent together is absolutely priceless. Obviously, experience gifts can get quite costly, but they certainly don't have to be.

So there you have it! This holiday season, ditch the "stuff" and give your children the gift of an experience instead. It's something they'll never forget and you might just be surprised at how much they enjoy it!

Have you ever given experience gifts to your kiddos? I'd love to hear about them!

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