There isn’t a manual for how to be the perfect parent – and that’s especially true during the holidays. There is a mountain of advertisements out there, with commercials, movies, and television shows all designed to sell electronic games and toys. In the real world, however, most parents know that tablets don’t create joy – experiences do.
Consider gifts that are fun and educational, as well as ones you can do together. Build memories all year long with these budget-friendly ideas from DC Paint Solutions.
Start Exercising Together
If you teach your kids that exercise is fun, you are setting them up for a lifetime of having a good time while staying healthy. Fortunately, there are toys designed just to get kids moving and laughing. You can look for hula hoops, exercise dice, yoga mats, and other toys that encourage dancing, jumping, and playing.
For an extra push, Gadgets & Wearables recommends giving your older kid a smartwatch or fitness tracker. This gadget can prompt them to move more and may inspire them to track their progress or push themselves further. Best of all, most of these have GPS monitoring capabilities, so you can always keep track of your kiddo.
Sometimes, when our schedules get busy, we tend to let exercising fall by the wayside. So, when you start a routine, make sure you stick with it. Carve a little time out of each to ensure you’re getting your children the exercise they need. This can be as simple as taking walks through your neighbourhood or nearby park. It’s been shown that residents of walkable areas weigh 6-10 lbs less, so it’s definitely worth the time and effort.
Choose Toys That Stimulate Mind and Body
Toys that prompt critical thinking and refine motor skills also build imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills. For toddlers, a good example of this kind of toy is a pegboard where kids can manipulate different shapes and colours. For older children, colourful Geo Flakes build spatial skills and reasoning abilities. Or if your school-aged children are learning Spanish in school, consider a board game that requires play en Español!
Think ahead too about toys that can help your children stay occupied if you’re a parent who works from home. While smaller children still need supervision, toys that stimulate and occupy their time can make it easier for you to carve out time to focus on work. Consider puzzles, construction toys or train sets.
Find Discounted Admissions Online
Use discount sites like Groupon to save on admission to outings like museums, painting pottery, theme parks, laser tag, mini-golf, bowling, dining out, and more. You can make your gift last all year by putting that discount toward an annual membership at a place they love, such as a children’s museum or a science museum. Not only will you be giving admission, but members also often get discounts in gift stores and special events.
Turn Your Home and Garage Into a Fix-It Shop
A children’s tool kit blurs the line between toy and utility, and you can get your kid to help with small projects around the house. Once they’re confident around tools, you can get them to help with minor car maintenance. If they can hold a flashlight, they can help you change a bulb or filter. If you teach them about the insides of a car, they’ll have confidence around cars that will last a lifetime.
Turn Your Kitchen Into a Science Lab
Research safe and fun experiments you can do together. Then use store coupons to get good deals on ingredients (but first check your pantry – you might already have what you need, like food colouring, vegetable oil, baking soda and more). Take it up a notch by getting your kids some lab coats and goggles so they feel like real STEM scientists.
Give Your Budding Artists a Place to Display
For those pint-sized Picassos whose creative juices have been flowing all year, give them the gift of a gallery. Gift them online drawing and painting classes to grow their talent while helping them develop technology skills. House & Garden suggests getting them excited by dedicating a room, hallway, or corner as a special art gallery. You can take advantage of deals on frames at craft stores – where they frequently offer 50-per cent-off deals.
Remember to Stay Safe
Ensuring safety should be paramount in every endeavour, even seemingly innocuous ones. For instance, when you’re doing something as seemingly harmless as spray painting, it’s important to adhere strictly to safety guidelines. This means working in a well-ventilated space to prevent inhalation of harmful fumes, wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and safety glasses to protect your skin and eyes, and using a proper respirator mask to prevent the inhalation of aerosol particles. Also, educate your children about these safety rules, emphasising the importance of never using spray paint without adult supervision. Moreover, apply this level of safety consciousness to all activities you undertake with your children, whether they are indoors, outdoors or involve creative or physical exertion.
Giving educational experiences as gifts doesn’t have to put you over budget. Limiting your spending doesn’t mean limiting your options. You just have to get a little creative and step away from traditional gift ideas. The memories made from these experiences can be affordable but last forever.
DC Paint Solutions uses only the highest quality of industrial and commercial paint for the professional finish our clients require. Contact us today to learn more at 01908 972 393!