Gift giving can sometimes be a bit of a struggle! With the number of toys that most households with small children usually have it’s hard to know what the perfect gift may be. Max, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares with us a unique way that his family has found to give! Take a look…
The Art of Gift Giving; Teaching Kids To Help Others In Need
There are so many little details that go into parenting that you’ve probably never thought of. Some that actually wouldn’t think of until the situation you need them for comes up. One of those situations, for us, is gift giving. Especially as our kids get older. The dilemma is that our kids simply have enough toys. It is to the point that we are keeping some of them in the basement. This way we can incorporate “new” toys into the selection for our children from time to time. There are several different resources available for how to cycle your toys, so we know that we’re not alone in this situation.
I have also witnessed the crazy number of toys that our friends’ children have to play with on visits over to their houses. Every time we go shopping for a birthday party (usually at Target) and walk the aisles looking at all of the shiny plastic toys, I just can’t help but think about all of the half-broken/half-played-with toys sitting around my own house. I actually feel kind of bad for my friends to be adding to their existing problem with my give. Plus, I have to wonder what the message and meaning behind all of these toy options at the store really is…
As you can see…
The dilemma is a pretty major one and the first solution I came up with was to get the kids books! My wife and I figured that the kinds can never have too many books and gifts like that fit our personalities since we both have a background in education. When you give a book, you’re giving a greater gift than just a toy since books have deeper meanings and messages for the readers. They’re not just an item. The one thing to be cautious about is making sure that, when you do give a book, you’re not buying duplicates of books that your children (or your friends’ children) already have. After all, nobody needs four copies of “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”.
This left us with the new dilemma of knowing that we did not want to add to our friends’ collections of plastic toys. Now we were also feeling that books may not be that different from the original problem.
For us, the solution has become to donate to a charity in the name of the child.
We try and choose a charity whose mission is a concept that the child will understand, like clean water. We also realized that it is beyond anti-climactic for a child to receive apiece of paper as a gift. That is why we make sure that we also include a book about the topic of the charity’s mission. So, if we donate to Charity Water, we would get a children’s book that explains the fact that there is only so much water on the planet and that not all kids have access to safe, clean water.
We were a little hesitant the first time we gave this as a gift because we did not want to seem pompous or offend anyone, but it went over great. The child was excited to get a new book that had a science angle and the parents were excited because it gave an easy opening to a discussion about the broader world. I like that it also gives us an opportunity to talk to our children about charity as well as, the concept of giving a gift with meaning.
We can talk and ask our kids what kind of charity they think their friend would be interested in helping. It is never too early to start these conversations and start the empathy building.
From iFamily to Yours,