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The Uncluttered Gift Guide For Children

Nov 19, 2011 | By Colleen Madsen

Many of us have homes filled with clutter, a good portion of which was probably collected during holidays past. Avoid gift clutter this year with a list of alternative "clutter-free" children's gifts from Colleen Madsen of the de-cluttering project blog, 365 Less Things.

Children at a petting zoo

Many of my readers mentioned on different occasions that they have friends and relatives that give their children far too many 'clutter' gifts. No matter how much they insist that this stop, the gifts just keep on coming. Here some alternative gift ideas that you suggest to the generous gift givers.

Ages 0 to 5

  • Clothing items
  • Education fund deposits (They may not thank you now but they will later!)
  • Money deposited into a bank account in the child's name
  • Memberships to children's attractions (E.g. Local zoo or children's museums)
  • A special outing (E.g. A food treat, a trip to the zoo or amusement park)
  • Paying for lessons (E.g. Music, sport, arts or crafts)
  • Mini 'projects' such as ingredients and special decoration for making cookies. Why not make an outing of it and take them with their list to the grocery store.

Ages 6 to 12

  • Cash (Make this gift special by making a clue-based treasure hunt. I used plastic snap together Easter eggs to hide the money in. My kids loved it!)
  • Movie ticketsTheme park passes
  • Movie passes
  • Educational software (If looked after, this can be easily sold on when outgrown)
  • iTune credits
  • Sports equipment
  • A special clothing item
  • Education fund deposits
  • Money deposited into a bank account in the child's name
  • A special outing (E.g. A food treat or ten pin bowling)
  • Event tickets (E.g. sports games or concerts)
  • Paying for lessons (E.g. Music, sport, arts or crafts)

Ages 13 to 18

  • Plane tickets to visit friends or family
  • Cellphone recharge credits
  • Take-out gift cards for popular food retailers (My daughter loved Starbucks cards at this age)
  • Toiletries (You need to know the child well to get this right)
  • A special clothing item (Skateboarders, like my son, wear through skate shoes far too often, so these make a great gift)
  • iTunes creditCash
  • Theme park passes
  • Education fund deposits
  • Money deposited into a bank account in the child's name
  • Theme park passes
  • Movie passes
  • iTune credits
  • Sporting equipment
  • A special outing (E.g. A food treat or ten pin bowling)
  • Event tickets (E.g. sports games or concerts)
  • Paying for lessons (E.g. Music, sport, arts or crafts)

Ages 18 to 25

While this age group may be a little older, in my experience they need useful gifts more now than ever before. They are often still in college/university, moving out for the first time or just started in their first real career job and aren't being paid much at this point.

  • Starbucks gift cardsMoney
  • Movie passes
  • Gas cards
  • Gift cards to popular food or general retailers (E.g. Starbucks, Walmart or Victoria's Secret)
  • iTune credits
  • Cellphone recharge credits
  • Travel credit (E.g. bus or train passes)
  • Sporting equipment
  • Plane tickets to visit friends or family
  • Education fund deposits
  • Educational supplies (E.g. Book store credits, good stationery or leather messenger bags)
  • Take-out gift cards (My daughter loved Starbucks cards at this age group)
  • Household items (Doesn't matter if they haven't moved out yet as this it will happen eventually. Avoid uni-taskers!)
  • Toiletries
  • Event tickets (E.g. sports games or concerts)
  • A special clothing item
  • Paying for lessons (E.g. Music, sport, arts or crafts)

Alternatively, why not give a donation in the child's name?

Donation Gift Ideas

  • Zoo Animals
  • Pet shelters
  • Kids sport team equipment
  • Food bank (You could go grocery shopping together to choose the food)

 

About the author:
Colleen Madsen started 2010 with no intention to commit herself to a seldom fulfilled self-improvement resolution. Three days later however, she realized that she could turn a new spring-cleaning project into 365 day resolution: "De-clutter every wardrobe, bench, shelf, pantry, garage and under bed space by either giving away, throwing away or selling one item everyday for the next 12 months."
365 Less Things is Colleen's thoughts and experiences along the way.

Tags : Christmas, gifts, present, kids, children, alternative, ideas, de-cluttering,

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