For our Discover & Explore theme this week we’re inviting you to link up your favorite gift ideas. You can share gift guides, homemade gifts, even DIY wrapping paper ideas. If it’s related to giving and receiving gifts, we’d love to see what you have to share.
I thought I would share my favorite gift ideas for encouraging family time. For birthdays and holidays we often focus on experience gifts and toys that also give us extra opportunities to spend time together. Although we can always sit down with our kids and engage in whatever activities they are playing, there are some gifts that especially encourage group interaction and play.
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Gift Ideas for Families
Games can be a great way to get everyone having fun together. We like to keep a few games out on the table, so we’re sure to see them and stop to play regularly. With a toddler and a preschooler in the house, we are just beginning to explore games. Tinker loves to join in as much as she can, so if she can’t play a game independently she’ll cuddle in an adult’s lap and be a helper. Below are some of the games we think are great for families with young kids.
If you’re just getting started with family game nights, this post on What Do We Do All Day? has some great tips for an enjoyable family game night.
Puzzles also make great gifts for families. Depending on the age of your children you can purchase puzzles that can be finished in one sitting or left out in a special area to be worked on a little bit at a time. Right now both of the girls enjoy sitting with us to work on floor puzzles. We love Melissa & Doug floor puzzles. Below are some of our favorites and a few we’ll be adding to our collection this year.
Fairy Tale Castle Floor Puzzle (48 pieces)
Underwater Floor Puzzle (48 pieces)
Solar System Floor Puzzle (48 pieces)
Safari Floor Puzzle (100 pieces)
Under the Sea Floor Puzzle (100 pieces)
Whether you’re singing together or taking turns putting on a show, musical toys can be a lot of fun for family time. We aren’t a musical family, and you don’t have to be either. Silly antics and out of tune songs welcome! Some video games can also be a fun way to sing and dance together.
Baking Kit and Cookbooks
If your family enjoys cooking or baking together, then buying some new baking items, cookbooks or special aprons can be a really fun and practical gift. You could create a specific kit with materials to make cookies or leave it more open-ended and include some kid-friendly cooking tools. Below are some ideas we like.
Sitting down to make new crafts together can be a lot of fun. You can purchase some basic craft materials to gather together and make your own craft kit, or you can buy one specifically related to your family’s interests.
Classic Wood Crafts
Dinosaur Paint & Play Set (additional themes available)
You can also create your own creation station to give as a gift. It will allow for many opportunities to craft together.
Equipment for Family Adventures & Sports
If your family enjoys playing sports or spending time outdoors, then sports equipment and outdoor games are great gifts that encourage family time.
Memberships & Gift Certificates
One of my favorites gifts to get for our kids is memberships to local attractions. Many science centers, museums, zoos, and amusement parks offer family passes. Those passes can be enjoyed by kids over and over again throughout the year and provide them with many enriching and memorable experiences.
Gift certificates to favorite local places can also be great gifts that allow families to spend time together. Depending on the age of the children in the family gift certificates to ice cream shops, favorite restaurants, miniature golf or adventure parks, movie theaters, and pottery studios can give families a wonderful day out together.
And being the book lover I am, you know I wasn’t going to create a gift list without adding BOOKS! A good book can inspire hours and hours of family time and snuggles. You can even give a book that was one of your favorites as a child to make it even more special. If you need a little inspiration, you may find some in our collection of books lists.
Are there any gifts you would recommend adding here? What toys or activities have been the most fun for your family to enjoy together?