For the past 4 years, our kids’ big Christmas gift has been an experience. This year, of course, experiences are a bit more difficult. Here’s what we’re giving our kids for Christmas this year!
Past Experience Gifts for Kids
It’s been really fun gifting an experience for the past several years. Four years ago, we did tickets to a show (Cirque du Soleil), the year after that was Disneyland, then a New York trip to do Christmassy things, and last year was a trip to Harry Potter land at Universal Studios.
The two theme park trips were ones that wouldn’t have necessarily been Dan’s and my first choice for a family trip – we tend to lean towards cities and culture or nature and outdoors. So they felt perfect to give as a gift (especially the last one to our Harry Potter-obsessed kids). They were all a BLAST, and our kids have gotten so good over the years at being excited for and recognizing the value in experience gifts. (Here are some tips for gifting an experience, as well as 100+ ideas for experience gifts!)
How We Decided to NOT Do an Experience This Year
We went back and forth a lot on whether we should gift an experience this year. Since we have the RV, we can still safely go a few places while self-containing. So we thought about gifting them a bigger experience connected to that. But with the uncertainty of 2021, we figured it was better to wait and see and discuss those options and opportunities as a family. Of course, there are tons of experience gifts for kids that are still totally great for right now, but for us, it seemed a good year to try something else.
So instead, we decided to lean toward some consumable gifts, instead, with others that are useful and fun. I think they’re going to LOVE these things, and I hope it helps if you’re not done with gifts yet, too!
This post on what we’re giving our kids for Christmas in 2020 contains affiliate links, but all opinions are 100% my own. That means I earn a small commission if you purchase through my link, but doesn’t change your price.
What We’re Giving Our Kids for Christmas in 2020
We’ve considered getting a telescope for the family for a while. So when a telescope similar to this one (same brand, but I can’t find our model) went on mega sale, we decided to go for it. We’re going to give it to them a few days before Christmas so we can see the Bethlehem star!
I am SO excited to give my kids this watercolor class for kids. It’s the perfect simple experience that will give them a creative outlet and also help them develop a skill.
Plus, it’s still on sale for $20.30 with the code THANKS30. That’s just over $20 to watch it as many times as you want, for as many kids as you want. Best $20 gift for ALL my kids that I’ve ever purchased!
I also purchased these inexpensive but super highly rated watercolor paint palettes for my kids to go along with the class. With over 4,000 five star reviews, I figure they must be pretty decent. My kids will be thrilled to each have their own!
This would also make a great gift for older kids, especially since there are multiple other classes (and the 30% off code of THANKS30 is good for any of them):
The kids watercolor class (and watercolor paints) are a little too old for my 3 year old, so I got him these dot markers instead. I’ve considered them for a while, and I love that they’re creative and also educational. They’re perfect for learning letters and numbers, and this set comes with a bunch of activity sheets. He’s going to love these!
I’ve had this blanket for just about a year after getting it at a Secret Santa gift exchange. I remember thinking at the time that I didn’t really need another blanket. But whoo boy, have I used the heck out of this thing.
It is SOO soft and cozy, and my kids are always grabbing it to snuggle or read or watch a movie.
(Disclaimer that this is really my SECOND favorite blanket of all time. My very most favorite is this one that came in my FabFitFun box. It’s possibly the softest thing I’ve ever touched in my life. But the ones I bought are about 1/3 the price, which I figured was fine for now for my kids. I reserve the right to change my mind someday and outfit our entire house with these blankets because I’m obsessed.)
To go along with the blanket, I got each of my kids one of these super soft robes. They’ve been asking for robes for a long while now. I don’t totally get why but I figure if that’s their biggest wish, I can make that happen. 😉 I got this one for my 10 year old, and this one for my 8 year old, this one for my 6 year old. The one I got my 3 year old is out of stock, but this one is also cute!
You can also find some of the styles here!
Game + Science Experiment
It’s always nice to add a new game or two, especially this year as we’ll be staying home more. And it’s always great to have a fun activity for Christmas afternoon while we watch all the movies and drink all the hot chocolate.
I decided to do one older kid game and one younger kid game, and one older kid science project and one younger kid science project. That way, I figured my 10 & 8 year olds can play/work on one game and one experiment together, and same for the 6 year old and 3 year old. The game may still be tricky for my 3 year old, but he loves to be included, especially with a grown up helping him. Plus, this way, each of the 4 older kids (not including the baby) can open one “game” sort of thing.
Here are the two science experiments I got them:
- This Mega Science lab allows them to build a habitat, explore rocks and dinos, and several other activities. A step above the basic ones. (Also found here.)
- My two younger boys are going to flip over this giant butterfly garden. They love learning about insects and really want a pet (nope!) so this is perfect.
And here are the two games I got them:
- I’ve been hearing about this game for years and wanting to add it to our game collection. It looks so fun for a variety of ages and has over 7,000 five star reviews! (You can also find it here.)
- This game looks SO fun (especially for our family that loves travel) and is one that I for sure want to play, too. (Also here.)
Finally, I found these amazing craft kits that were on mega sale so I only needed to pay shipping ($6). I got the woodworking kit for my 2 boys who love to build (just the hammer is worth more than $6!). And I got the creative girls club for my daughter who loves to craft. Such great kits for a stocking stuffer price!
Instead of a craft kit for my 3 year old, I got him a new set of wool base layers like his baby sister (more below) since he’s outgrowing his old ones.
Gifts for the Baby
Of course, the baby won’t be getting a watercolor palette or craft kit or science experiment. I know she’ll be perfectly content playing with all the wrapping paper. But something in me feels like I want her to have just a couple of useful things to open – more for me than anything else.
I got her a cozy blanket as I know she’ll be happy to use it for a while, and she’s getting big enough that she could have it in her crib soon, as well as a first Christmas ornament. She doesn’t have a set of wool base layers yet, which we LOVE for cool weather and also when packing for travel, so I picked up a set of those. Finally, I got her her own piggy bank to match the other kids and for money from grandparents and such.
I hate filling stockings with a bunch of junk and like to stick a few useful, fun, and cute things in there. I also have no interest in turning the stockings into a whole other gift, so I like to limit items to costing just a few dollars. Here’s what I put in!
- I always like to put in a good pair of wool socks in stockings. I bought a pair for myself from this brand a little while ago and I never knew before that I could be obsessed with socks. Wool socks are a bit pricier but so useful and I love them for hiking and travel, especially since you can wear them multiple times without washing. And they’re so warm and soft!
- I also LOVE that this brand is still family-owned!
- They unfortunately don’t carry baby sizes, so I got her this set of adorable wool socks.
- Rainbow bath bombs
- My kids absolutely love bath bombs and these ones that make a rainbow are SO fun.
- Unique extra
- I always do a mandarin orange as well as a chocolate orange and some jelly beans from Trader Joe’s.
- Coupon for a movie and snack night at home
Gifts from Grandparents
I really appreciate that both sets of parents tend to give either educational gifts or experiences, and this year is no different. Dan’s parents gifted the kids a microscope with slides. And my parents are gifting the kids 6 months of virtual Kannada lessons to learn our home language. I’m so excited for them!
Are you giving gifts this year? If so, are you done yet or still finishing some up?