Skip to Content

What to Tell Your Family When They Ask What to Get Your Kids

What to Tell Your Family When They Ask What to Get Your Kids

When family and friends ask what they should buy for your kids, reply by asking them what they remember as special gifts from their grandparents or aunts & uncles.  I bet it wasn’t something that came from a store. I think memories and time together are more valuable than anything that can be purchased in a shop.

What Works for Us

Kara Fleck at SimpleKids shared her “Simple Gift Giving Philosophy” back in 2010 and we use it every year. The idea is to plan your gift giving with four ideas in mind:

“Something they want,
Something they need,
Something to wear,
Something to read.”

What to Tell Your Family When They Ask What to Get Your Kids

  • Annual passes
  • A memory
  • Fulfill a special interest
  • Something homemade
  • Something that has a meaningful story behind it, like the first stamp of a stamp collection and how grandpa used to collect stamps as a kid
  • A themed play kit just for them (superhero, reader, pirate, anything for pretend play, or a sports kit, bug catcher kit). The less specific the toy, the more pretend that can happen.
  • Books!
  • Shop local. Or shop at one of these gift shops of a non-profit so that some/all of the proceeds benefit the non-profit.
  • A card written from the heart

List of Annual Pass Suggestions (General ideas that work no matter where you live)

What Gifts Your Kids Can Make for Family

  • Handwritten notes can be precious keepsakes
  • A decorated picture frame
  • A hand-drawn coupon book of things to do with Mom or Dad, Grandma or Grandpa
  • Personalized art work (maybe even in a frame)
  • Handmade sewing/knitting/crochet/embroidery project
  • Go to Fired Up! in San Clemente or a place like Color Me Mine to paint pottery gifts for each other
  • A Shutterfly photo book or iMovie video of memories from the year (for older teens)
  • A nature craft – search Pinterest or go to to see the nature crafts archive

Focus on the experiences rather than the THINGS – and your kids will get/give everything they never knew they wanted.