September 4, 2010

give an experience to a child

Last weekend, I suggested some simple gifts that will work for most children.  Now I want to suggest some gifts of my favourite sort – giving an experience.  I try and do at least one present like this for my children at most birthdays and Christmas.  It keeps my children from having too many toys and it helps with the budget too, because I would often end up paying for these experiences anyway, if I didn’t give them as a gift.
The idea is to think of an experience that your child would love to have, something that suits their interests, and give it as a gift.  For example …
  • give the sports-mad child tickets to a sporting event
  • give the animal-lover a season pass to the zoo
  • give the budding ballerina a chance to see a live ballet
  • give the car-mad child a chance to ride in a go-kart or go to the Speedway.
You get the idea.
I think there are a few categories you could consider for these types of gifts …
  • tickets to a show – a play, a sports event, a movie, a concert and so on
  • memberships – to the zoo, art gallery, museum, science club and so on.  These usually offer discounted entry and other special benefits.
  • lessons in a skill your child wants to master – swimming (great for young children), music, flying and so on.
  • an amazing experience – take your child go-karting, rock climbing, waterskiing and so on.
  • do something together – this would encompass most of the above, but there are other options like eating out in a restaurant or taking a trip together.
What have I missed?
Do you ever give experience gifts?


jenny said...

I love it when my kids receive experience gifts - so much better than bringing more "stuff" into the house :) Every year before they went to school their grandparents gave them (us!) a family zoo pass. We live close to the zoo so the pass meant we could pop in every week if we wanted to, and use the zoo in the same way you would go to the park. With a reptile mad preschooler on my hands, this was definately a bonus and a gift that could be enjoyed all year round.

katepickle said...

We've been the very happy recipients of a family zoo pass for the last few years.... I can highly recommend that!
This Christmas our girls are asking family to contribute money for violin lessons which and I'm hoping the suggestion will be well received!

shang09 said...

2 Christmases ago we gave my then 14yo step son the Richard Petty Driving Experience ride along. He got to ride 3 laps at Daytona in Dale Earnhart Jr's car. He loved it!

Deb said...

Don't forget the simple things too. We live in the country and don't have public transport, one of the highlights of a visit to Granny is that she takes them on a ferry and train ride then back in the bus. And one time we went to Sydney and their brother babysat for a couple of hours with the help of a monorail ride.
A picnic in a park or visit to a farm are good too.

Steven said...

Experience gifts - this is a new idea for me but I think it's really great. It is truly better than giving just material things to your child because as they say experience is the best teacher. If ever, I'm going to give an experience gift to my children, I actually plan on taking them out camping. There's lots of things to learn and lots of things to do when camping so I think it's where I'll start.

Infant Bibliophile said...

I haven't done this with my son yet since he's been so young (this Christmas he will be 3), but I second (third) the suggestion of memberships from grandparents for gifts. We have done that for the zoo and local museums, and we get our money's worth all year. I'll have to consider this for my son now that he is older!