No one wants to be the gift-giver with the same idea as someone else, and as childhood gets more and more materialistic, it becomes harder and harder to find things your giftee doesn’t already have. A quick google search will find you lots of lists for unique gift items. This list, on the other hand, is meant to get you thinking off the beaten track. It’s not just about objects; it’s about concepts.
Letting go is an important skill and something most of us have to practice for most of our lives. A gift that disappears or has a temporary nature can be the beginning of this practice for kids and bring great joy at the same time. Consider sidewalk chalk, a black- or whiteboard, or a Buddha Board for art supplies meant to create temporary masterpieces. Of course, the traditional kids-to-adults gift of a coupon book can go the other way, too, with coupons for things like getting an extra helping of dessert, getting out of a chore, or having an adult make time for a favorite activity.
Unique Gift – Personalized Books
From a very young age, kids develop their memory formation skills and love going back over memorable experiences. Think about how often a younger child will want to tell you about an exceptional experience. Now it is easier than ever to have a photo book published. You can create a keepsake documenting your experiences with your special kid (or adult), their growing up, or just one special day, like a trip to the zoo or amusement park. Younger kids will want to read it and go over the pictures over and over again, and older kids will value a keepsake of treasured moments. Consider personalized birthday books featuring characters “drawn” to represent the child, too. Kids will love following the adventures of their cartoon selves.
Unique Gift – Experiences
A great experience isn’t just a one-day treat. There are the days of anticipation before it happens and the memories and revisiting afterward. It can bring weeks, months, or even years of pleasure. We often hold back from giving these kinds of gifts because we think they need to be big adventures that are expensive both in terms of time and money. However, there is enormous fun to be had spending an afternoon together cooking something special, going on a photo safari in your own neighborhood, or binge-watching a show you all enjoy. Taking up a hobby you can share can set you up to share splendid adventures many times over a year or more.
Many of the toys available today, and even more so many games and apps available on our screens, leave little room for imagination to flourish. Look for items like these personalized superhero capes, or go to a local thrift store and pick up a costume box worth of dress-up clothes, shoes, hats, and bags. Look for age-appropriate small toys to which kids can give a personality, like generic action figures, stuffed toys, plastic or wooden dinosaur or animal figurines, or even cars and trucks. The goal is to foster and encourage quiet imaginative play where the hours disappear, and kids (or adults!) are shocked to find it is time for dinner or bed.