Gifts Parents Wish Their Kids Would Get

I’m not the grandparents’ ideal when it comes to gift-giving. If you ask me what the kids would like, I will give very specific suggestions and beg you not to deviate from the list. I don’t like to “help” my kids manage a lot of things. But kids who seem to have everything can be hard to buy for, too. These gift ideas work well for both minimalist and maximalist households, and I’m willing to bet that both the kid and the parents will thank you for them. I broke them into three categories of giving: an experience, a consumable, and a charity.

Give an experience.


Attend a concert, play, sporting event, movie or festival together. Or, give many experiences with a membership to a favorite museum or recreation center. If you want the kid to be excited to unwrap it, attach it to a related book. For example, Frog and Toad books with tickets to go see the play!

We’ve enjoyed a gift card to Children’s Theatre Company and a gifted membership to the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Other Twin Cites membership options include the Science Museum of Minnesota (image of Earth), The Works Museum, and the Minnesota Zoo. I’m planning on getting my family an America the Beautiful Pass (image of Itaska Natural Area in Minnesota), which covers the entrance fee for the passholder’s car and the passengers in it to nearly all the national parks for one year.


Give something consumable & useful.


Art supplies like Eco Crafts, bath supplies like Honest Co. bubble bath, and useful trinkets kids love, like EOS lip balm are a lot of fun, but don’t create much waste or require long-term care.


Give to a relatable charity.


Choose an elephant or rhino by name to foster through Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and every month they’ll send updates on your animal plus collectible watercolor prints.

Buy a soccer ball from One World Play Project, and they’ll donate a ball to a disadvantaged community. The balls don’t deflate, so it’s no maintenance for the recipients.

Bring the kid grocery shopping, and let them pick out food to donate to Feeding America or a local food or shelter program plus a treat to take home, like Bitsy’s Brainfood Orange Chocolate Beet Cookies, which is not a charity, but is an all-natural cookie. (Image of kids with food bags from Second Harvest Heartland, a partner of Feeding America.)


Are you a minimalist or maximalist when it comes to gift giving and receiving? Somewhere between? What are your favorite gifts your kids have received?


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I'm Anna, and I love to create and recognize beauty at home and in heart. I share inspiring interiors and my Finnish-American lifestyle in Minneapolis, MN.

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