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Holiday Gifts for Kids That'll Keep On Giving

The best experiences, subscriptions, memberships and more to give this Christmas

Published on: December 13, 2018

Giving a meaningful gift takes a bit of thought. The greatest gifts are those that keep giving long after the wrapping paper has been recycled. These gifts are not always tangible things but are often experiences, subscriptions, memberships or classes. 

Gifts that get families or friends together are another great option for Christmas. Old-fashioned board games or a personalized home movie theater box can be a great way to create lasting childhood memories. 

So, if you’re looking for some gift-giving inspiration for kids this holiday season, here are some ideas to add to your list.

1. A subscription box

A subscription box is a fun way to inject a little fun and learning into your kid’s Christmas gifts — options like Kiwi Crates offer "lines" for different age ranges from infants up to teenagers (for about $20 a month) that teach about art, science and engineering through projects and activities. Or you could try Little Passports, which introduces your child to a new country and its customs each month (for about $17 a month). Check out our full list of kid-friendly subscription boxes for more options. 

2. Zoo or children’s museum membership

Bringing a whole family to the zoo or to a children’s museum can add up very quickly. If you’re looking to give a gift the whole family can enjoy together, a zoo membership/aquarium membership is a great option. 

3. A class

When I was little, my parents usually signed us up for a class we had been hoping to take as a Christmas present. Making an extracurricular activity, like an art or dance class, a Christmas present makes it feel more like a treat than a requirement. 

4.  A new family board game

I’m not very competitive, but I’ve never laughed harder than the game nights our family shared when I was growing up. Of course, the options have expanded greatly in the last few decades. Try Richard Scary’s Busy Town, Eye Found It for little ones or Codenames for a family with teens. 

5. An Instax camera

We might all be snapping away with digital cameras and phones, but it’s wonderful to introduce a child to the beauty of a camera with instant film. Instax cameras are durable enough to hold up to a kid’s bumping, and the gift of one is bound to bring out their creative side.

6. Magazine subscription

As a kid, I loved getting Ranger Rick magazines. There is something special about receiving something in the mail every month when you’re young. Get kids hooked on adventures with National Geographic Kids or Little Kids (bimonthly, $15 for 6 issues) or even Ranger Rick ($19.95 for 6 issues). 

7. Conversation starters

Sometimes getting families to talk about deeper topics can be tricky, but a box of conversation starters can be a fun, game-like way of breaking the ice at the dinner table. Designed by a parent to help strengthen family relationships, the Our Moments box is perfect for meal-time discussions or even for road trips with your kids. 

8. Sponsor an animal or charity

The holidays are an excellent time to remind your kids that other children around the world don’t have as much as we do. Sponsoring a child or buying an animal for a family or village in another part of the world might not seem like an exciting Christmas gift, but both options provide an opportunity to open up conversations about geography, education, poverty and the ways different people survive around the world. If you choose to sponsor a child through a charity like Plan USA, your kids will be able to write to your sponsored child throughout the year, making it a gift and learning moment that repeats. 

9. A family movie night box

When kids are young, movie nights are gold and any accouterments are especially novel. Even if your family already has a Netflix or Hulu subscription, putting together a special box of popcorn, treats and slippers for everyone can help turn a simple and inexpensive family activity into something special. 

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