Christmas Gifts Parents Actually Want

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Christmas is quickly approaching!  It is that magical time of year filled with lights, good cheer, delicious food, and obligation gifts.  Not only do you need to give gifts to your loved ones, but ‘tis the time of year when your children GET tons of gifts that make you want to pull your hair out.

Don’t get me wrong, I know it is fun to spoil children with fun toys at Christmas—flashing lights and annoying songs can entertain them for hours on end.  But who are we kidding? These toys cause parents to want to start day-drinking in the week or two following Christmas.

Our son will be a year and a half old this Christmas, and the thought of him accumulating even more toys to clutter up my living room is kind of scary.  Before I had kids, I was really clueless about what families with young children actually want for the holidays.  I would usually just buy a bunch of the most obnoxious toys ever made (hey, I was a newbie).

If you have a family with young kids on your list, I have got you covered.  There are some great ideas out there for gifts that will please not only the kids, but the parents, too.  So without further ado, here is a great list of ideas for how to knock Christmas out of the park for the young family on your list!

Mom-approved gift list

Group activities.  Literally anything that must be played with a sibling, friend, or parent.  Gifts, toys, or games that get the kids busy, giggling, and having a good time together will be a winning gift.  This includes board games!

Quiet toys (hint, no batteries).  If it comes with batteries or you need batteries to use the toy, you made a bad choice.  Batteries usually means lights, noise, horrible songs, and a migraine that lasts for weeks.  Some great quiet toys include stuffed animals, dolls, blocks, and any and all wooden toys.

Books, particularly board books for young kids.  No matter how many times milk is spilled on them or how many kids chew on the corners, these suckers still last quite a while.  Books can be a solitary activity for kids who love looking at the pictures (like my son) OR a group story time activity.   Plus, reading = awesome!

Outdoor toys.  Anything that gets children outside and playing in the fresh air will be amazing for both the parents and the kids. Ideas include plastic slides and play sets, sand boxes, or even just something simple like sidewalk chalk and a jump rope (I know, old school, right?).  Just avoid anything that will make the homeowner’s insurance go up—I am looking at you, pools and trampolines!

#1 Best idea for kids’ Christmas presents:  EXPERIENCES instead of just stuff.  Swimming lessons, kids’ cooking classes, a trip to the rock climbing place, tickets to an amusement park, or a future road trip will all be great adventures for everyone to remember for a long time.

Gifts for the Parents

Parents with young kids only want one thing for Christmas:  free babysitting.

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