Are you finding yourself uninspired by your child/godchild/nephew/niece’s Christmas list that consists of 46 Minecraft or Elsa and Anna toys? Yup. Me too. Wanting to surprise them with something really neat that’s a bit outside the box? Perhaps something that can inspire exploration, give back to a cause or make playtime just a titch cooler? I’ve got you covered. Here I’ll be sharing with you my list of 5 outside-the-box gift ideas for kids that you can put to use this Christmas season.
1. Little Passports subscription
Little Passports is a monthly subscription box for kids that inspires a love for global exploration and learning through maps, letters written to young travelers from fellow kid travelers, souvenirs and activities. These items arrive in the mailbox in a fun blue suitcase box with a different country or destination featured each month. The subscription is just $11.95/month and provides hours of fun and enrichment. There is currently a promotion offered by one of my favorite podcasts (Slate’s Mom and Dad are Fighting) so if you use this link you can save 40% on your first box. An introductory kit will arrive for the first month, so you’ll have something to give physically on Christmas if you place your order soon! There are three different subscriptions to choose from, one is for young children ages 3-5, and two are for older children – one focuses on world travel and the other domestic.
2. Adopt an Animal
If you’d like to give a gift that is both philanthropic and fun, consider adopting an animal from the Chaffee Zoo or a cat from Project Survival Cat Haven. (Links go straight to the adoption info.) Both offer adoption packages at $50 that also provide an adorable plush animal you can give to your gift recipient when you share with them that their gift will help provide food, enrichment, treats and care for their animal. Better yet, share an experience together visiting the animal and taking pictures with it for a frame for the child’s bedroom as well.
3. Purchase a Just One necklace
Another philanthropic yet fun choice is a necklace from Just One – CA. Just One is a non-profit that offers beautiful jewelry made by women in Africa who live in safe havens now, but fled a life of violence or abuse. The jewelry they make is not only beautiful, but also stylish and unique. I own several pieces including the adult version of the Ugandan necklace pictured, and I love it because it goes with so many things and always garners compliments and questions. Each bead is handmade from colorful paper, and sealed for longevity. Though it looks heavy, it’s actually quite light and comfortable to wear. Just One’s CA co-owner, Jennifer Master, lives in Clovis and she has numerous pieces in stock – to arrange to view them or pick something up from her, you can contact her via her Facebook page or via email at email@example.com. 100% of proceeds go back to the creators of the jewelry. (To view all of the pieces available, you can visit the non-local Just One page here – there are many great gifts for the women on your list, too.)
4. Put Together a Fort Kit
For your favorite kids with big imaginations, put together a great homemade sheet fort building kit for just $13 according to blogger Simply Kierste. I searched around quite a bit to find a kit that was truly simple and affordable to create, as I’ve seen many on Pinterest, but often they required sewing intricate loops or drawstring bags – this kit uses a plastic tub and requires no sewing at all. (For my fellow less-than-talented seamstresses, can I get woot-woot!)
5. Get a portable toy mat
This gift may end up being a gift for both the recipient and you! Ever step on a Lego that was left behind after clean up? Then you know it is TORTURE! Walking on hot coals? I’ll do that any day over walking on Legos barefoot! You can support another local small business (Jessica Young’s Not Sew Perfect Creations) and get an awesome play mat that folds out to create a Lego/block/car/small toy play mat anywhere kiddos go, then cinches up in a snap with a drawstring for easy transporting and Lego-foot-injury prevention! This large, 40″ mat is beautifully and functionally handmade for $45.
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