Written by: Jenny Gattinger, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
We all know them—the kids who have everything. Bedrooms and playrooms full of toys, and you wonder what you can possibly get them that they don’t already have.
And there’s the budget. You want to stay under budget.
So, what exactly is intentional giving? Having its roots in minimalism, intentional giving is taking the time to really think about the gift you’re giving to others. It’s thinking in terms of quality over quantity and looking past the latest fads while making sure to choose something that adds value to the receiver’s life.
That said, let’s take a look at 10 intentional gifts for kids that won’t break the bank.
1. Activity Coupon Book
You can create a coupon book for the kids on your list based on activities you think they would really enjoy. Adding coupons such as staying up late, playing a favorite game, throwing an impromptu dance party, a day without chores, a dinner of choice, etc., are popular, but the ideas are endless. Best of all, the price is free.
2. A “cool” version of something they need
Have the parents expressed interest in the child receiving new school supplies, clothing items, or the like? Rather than gifting the more normal, everyday version, splurge a little bit and get them that specially designed water bottle or backpack that you know they’d love.
3. Classes and/or lessons
Is there some activity at school or in the community that the child wants to take part in or a certain skill that they’ve wanted to learn? Now could be the perfect time to gift them that experience. These could be either one-off or several week classes. Similarly, if there’s something of interest that you could teach the child, it could double as a bonding experience with them.
Additionally, if you’re keen on giving the child something to open, you could gift them an accompanying item to go with their classes that would get them even more excited as they await the start date.
4. Toys that foster imagination and creativity
As opposed to buying a toy that is played with for a week and then thrown into a pile with other untouched toys, these are toys for open-ended play. Think along the lines of sidewalk chalk, craft supplies, Legos, STEM toys, etc. A box of Legos can be used to make a racetrack one day, castle another, and favorite animal the next. Not to mention, building toys help teach logic, problem-solving, and hand-eye coordination, among others.
5. Items for life skills
While pricier than some of the other things listed, these are items that will be used time and time again. Some popular ideas include a bike, sewing machine, digital camera, art supplies, etc. Again, quality over quantity.
6. That 1 toy that keeps coming back
It’s one thing for a child to randomly say that they want a specific toy because they heard about it from a school friend. It’s another if they have been asking for the same thing over a longer period of time. If it’s something that they keep mentioning, chances are it’s actually something that they’ll really enjoy and put to good use.
This could be anything from a day on the town to a week-long family trip. Maybe you want to gift that special child a day with you, where they get to pick from different activities. Some cheaper and easier options may include going on hikes, eating at a favorite restaurant, checking out a museum they’ve shown interest in, etc. You may have several kids in the same family and want to take them on a special day trip or week-long trip altogether. Not only will children get to enjoy the actual gift, but the anticipation leading up to excursion time will cause great excitement for days to come.
Here’s another gift that keeps giving (throughout the year at least!). Are there any fun and interesting museums, zoos, amusement parks, or local attractions in the area? A membership to one of these places could provide memorable experiences for the entire year to come.
9. Financial gift
Nothing to get kids thinking about good financial habits from a young age than by sticking a couple of stock shares into their stockings. Not only will the gift be unique, but actually holding shares themselves creates the possibility of igniting interest in finances and investing from a young age. The price of stock shares varies—financial education, priceless.
Similarly, for the younger kids on your list, a cute piggy bank with divisions for spend, save, and donate could be an interesting and fun gift (even more so if you start it off with a small amount of money already in there!). Getting kids thinking about and becoming intentional with money from a young age will help them create good money habits for the future.
10. Items related to a favorite hobby
Is the child an aspiring athlete, scientist, actor, or the next Van Gogh? Whatever their hobby, a great gift idea could be an accessory related to it. For the next Ronaldo, it could be something as small as a new soccer ball or as pricey as a soccer jersey signed by their favorite player. Regardless, these items are bound to be loved by the child.
There you have it! Giving these types of intentional gifts will not only make kids happy but will keep their parents and your bank account smiling as well.
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Jenny Gattinger, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Jenny is a personal financial coach with a passion for helping millennials reach their financial goals. Having completed a degree in Economics, along with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Coach Master Training, she teaches them how to organize their money and put it to work so that one day, sooner rather than later, they won’t have to. A millennial herself, Jenny’s financial savviness has allowed her to follow her dreams of travel and visit 50+ countries as well as compete internationally in two different sports, all while maintaining a sense of financial wellbeing.