Our Toy-Free Kids' Holiday Gift Guide

Good Morning Ladies,

Has anyone else tried to clean out their playroom, and gotten confused as to when you accumulated all of this stuff? I recently did this and noticed that my kids probably only play with 50% of their toys. So, I made the decision this year to focus on finding them gifts, and putting gifts on their wish lists, that aren't just going to take up space in our overly cluttered house. I'm sharing them here because I figured we could all use a little less clutter in our lives.

Memberships and Passes:

Membership to the Children's Museum- If you don't already have one, this gift is a must when you have small children. It offers hours of fun for them, and you might even get a minute or two to yourself while they run around. Annual memberships are on sale for $120 this week!

Membership to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens- Beyond being a beautiful place to visit, Lewis Ginter has a large water play area, climbing tree house and children's garden. With a family membership, $125, you get admission for 2 adults and up to 6 kids, which includes admission to their awesome Garden Fest of Lights on member nights. You also get discounts on kids' classes, summer camps and their gift shop.

Gift cards to Jumpology (Glen Allen)- Jumpology trampoline park offers Kid Jump for kids 6 and under from 9-10 am, M-Thurs. It's $10 for 60 minutes and one adult jumps free with each child pass purchased. Regular jump passes are $11/hour for kids under 6 and $14/hour for kids 7 and over. You now also have to purchase their special grip socks at $3/pair. You can purchase gift cards for $25, $50, $75 or $100.

Gift cards to Sky Zone (Midlothian)- Sky Zone trampoline park offers Toddler Time Tues-Fri from 10-11 and 3-4, and Sensory Hours for kids with special needs on the first Monday of the month from 5-6 pm. Both programs are $8/60 minutes and one adult jumps free with purchase. Regular jump tickets are $10/30 minutes and $15/60 minutes. They have $30 gift cards and are currently running a promo where you get a 30 minute jump pass and free jumping socks with each gift card purchase.

Passes to Monkey Joe's (Midlothian)- This fun play center is full of inflatables for kids to jump on, and they even have a play area for kids under 2. Tickets are $9 during the week and $10 on the weekends, but, unlike the trampoline parks, there are no time limits. Children under 2 who plan to play are only $6. They also offer frequent user cards for $60 for older kids or $40 for kids under 2. Military, Police, Fire and EMT personnel always receive $2 off admission, with a valid ID. You can buy gift cards on their website here.

Season passes to Kings Dominion- I just bought these for my kids. The regular gold passes are $108, but they're also offering Free PreK Season Passes for kids age 3-5 (Kids 2 and under are already free.). The PreK pass needs to be activated at the park before May 28, 2018. As long as your child is still 5 when the pass is activated, they are eligible. All of the passes include admission to Soak City, Dinosaurs Alive, free parking and early ride times. Individual single-day tickets are $40 online and $68 at the gate for everyone 3 and up, so the passes are a great deal if you plan to visit the park more than once.

Classes, Classes, Classes:

Instead of buying your kids another toy that they may or may not play with, spend the money on a class where they can try something new.

Gym Classes and Open Gym at Romp n' Roll- My in-laws have been taking my toddler here for months and it's her favorite thing. They offer classes and open gym for babies-5 year olds at their West End and Midlothian locations. You can purchase gift cards here or memberships here.

Music classes offered by Melody Music Studio- Gift certificates for Melody Magic on Lauderdale Drive can be purchased here for classes or musical playdates.

Karate- Dong's Karate offers a Little Tigers program for 3-5 year olds, and has three locations in town.

Soccer- SCOR offers the Little Kickers program for kids 18 months-9 years old.

Dance- The Central VA Dance Academy in Glen Allen offers a Creative Movement Class for 3-4 year olds. The Prestige Dance Studio in Midlothian offers the same class for 2-3 year olds and Pre-Ballet for 3-4 year olds.

Swimming Lessons- Check out Swim RVA and Aqua Tots, which both offer beginner classes for babies-elementary age.

Gymnastics- Core Kids Academy offers parent/child classes for kids beginning at 4 months old.

∗ If these classes are out of your budget, check out the programs offered through the Weinstein JCC or through Parks and Recreation in Hanover, Henrico and Chesterfield. Kids can take classes in soccer, yoga, ballet or gymnastics for as little as $15.

Themed Gifts for Family Fun:

What does your family enjoy doing together? Are you outdoorsy, or do you prefer staying inside, watching movies or playing games? Whatever you're into, get your kids into it too by getting them a fun themed gift. I also love gifting the things that I'd end up buying them anyway like new pajamas, bathing suits, art supplies, but doing it in a fun way.

Camping Enthusiasts: Look for tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, etc. and have fun planning a camping trip together. Amazon has some great sales on camping gear going on now.

Movie Nuts: Buy everything you need for a great movie night: new movie, pajamas, air popcorn maker, candy and fuzzy blankets.

Gamers: Buy a new board game or two and wrap it along with some special snacks for a fun family game night. I bought this game for my kids this year.

Book Worms: Buy new books and have a fun storytime at home with reading, music and dancing. Our current favorites are Dragons Love Tacos, Benjamin Bear and the Elephant and Piggie Series.

Artsy and Crafty Ones: Buy kids new art supplies. You can even plan a craft to make with them and buy all the needed supplies. Try one of these New Year's Crafts: High Five 2018 Sign, NYE Firework Art, NYE Countdown Ball, or this Collection of New Year's Crafts.

Beach Lovers: Buy kids new towels, bathing suits and pool toys. This might seem like a boring gift, but even my big boy gets excited at the thought of swimming when it's the end of December. Have fun talking about memories from past trips and start planning for the next one.

Amateur Chefs: Find kid-friendly utensils and bake-ware, like this one that my daughter loves, buy or make an apron and print out some fun recipes that you can make together.

A Note About Baby/Toddler Gifts: Please, please, please learn from my mistakes. I love buying gifts for people, especially my kids, but I feel like my over the top giving has made my kids expectations at holidays and birthdays high. When your kids are too little to care about gifts, don't go overboard. They will be just as happy with a plastic ball from the dollar tree as they will with that $50 VTech playset. I know the playset looks way cooler, but I swear to you, they do not care. Save your money for their college fund.

Wishing You A Happy and Clutter-Free Holiday!

♥ Erin

*This post contains links, but I receive zero compensation for posting them.

Stroller Strides FAQS.jpg