If you’re looking for children’s gifts of the non-toy variety, we have some good news – they do exist! Here's a list of our favourites (something to pass on to relatives who are stuck for ideas!)
The gift that keeps on giving
Giving a child something financial may not excite them as much as something they can unwrap, but contributing to a child’s future is an easy gift solution for relatives.
A deposit toward a BNZ savings account and a BNZ KiwiSaver account will set them up for the future, and you can look at statements together to see the savings grow, and help develop and encourage your child’s long-term goal planning and money skills.
If grandparents or relatives are wanting to spend a little bit more money, how about asking them to contribute to swimming or music classes? These can be expensive and asking relatives to contribute can be a great way to get your kids into otherwise unaffordable activities.
Toddlers love settling down in an armchair made just for them, or drawing their masterpieces at child-sized tables. Mini camp chairs and bean bags are also great ideas.
Pots, seeds, plants or a swan plant with a caterpillar. Watching a plant grow is a magical experience for a child. Don’t limit yourself to just plants though; put them to work in the garden with some child-sized garden tools and a pot or patch of dirt of their own to care for.
A birdhouse to attract some feathered friends and a native flora and fauna book so you can identify your new visitors, and some kids’ binoculars to you’re your little bird-spotter. How about an ant/worm farm, a bug house or a bug-collecting kit and a magnifying glass?
Books are always a favourite and suitable for any age, check out the OHbaby! book club for the latest page turners to inspire little minds!
Summer survival kit
Beach towel, sunglasses, hat, sunblock and beach toys, all in a waterproof bag.
A cool lamp, a string of fairy lights, some wall art, a new duvet cover...Collect some paint samples and let kids chose a new wall/door/shelf colour for their bedroom.
Encourage kids into the kitchen with a kid-friendly cookbook, baking utensils, or novelty cup cake moulds. Slightly more expensive but popular, iceblock makers and novelty moulds. Or give them head start and layer the dry ingredients for their favourite cookies or slice into a sealed jar and tie with a ribbon.
The gift of responsibility
It's not for everyone, but what about a pet? How better to teach your kids about responsibility and compassion than with a kitten, a goldfish or a cuddly bunny.
Packed and ready
Luggage! What about an overnight bag or a rolling suitcase, or a toiletries bag or a kindy bag to start the year.
A camera is a great way to get kids to observe the world around them and there are so many ideas of ways to use it. They could document a day in their life, their favourite things or you can create a scavenger hunt for them. Include a photo album and they can preserve all their memories.
What has your child been begging you about doing lately? Visiting their favourite beach? Seeing a movie or a theatre show or a visit to a water park? Create a voucher to fulfil their most pressing wish.
Crafts are a nice way to spend time bonding with your child and a great way to keep them entertained over the school holidays, from origami to knitting, the possibilities are endless.
Following on from crafts, how about paints, brushes, some canvases and/or an easel? Throw in a plastic sheet to make cleaning up easier.
The great outdoors
A tent or a sleeping bag, a torch a water bottle, and some marshmallows to toast over the campfire. In warmer weather you can pop the tent up in your backyard and let kids have a couple of overnight 'camping' experiences.
Fill their bellies
A food hamper full of their favourite foods, like cereals, spreads, snacks and some treats. This is a very personalised and practical gift.