10 Tips for Buying Toys and Alternative Gifts for Children

As much as I’d like to ignore holidays devoted entirely to acquiring stuff, I cannot. I live in the modern world. And my almost four-year-old – who isn’t a stuff-ist, actually – would notice. So would other relatives and friends.

So here’s my top ten list of what to think about and look out for when gathering holiday presents for any small family member or friend.

1. Give Without Giving Stuff

Can you gift items that aren’t stuff? Tickets to shows or a series of classes are a personal favorite. We always ask the grandparents for these. They support local theatres and businesses, are a great shared experience, and, in the case of classes, are really a gift that keeps on giving, especially in a long winter when getting out to go to a class (soccer, dance, music, etc.) is a much needed break from being indoors at home. Bonus: tickets and classes do not clutter the house, they do not later become landfill fodder, and they do not contain potentially harmful chemicals you do not want your children playing with! (See 15 more ways to give without giving stuff.) …

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