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It’s that time of year again… when people drive themselves crazy buying 124 gifts for their children. Hey, I get it. Gift-giving is a love language. It makes you feel good to give presents, especially to your children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews. It makes me feel good! I love to surprise my kiddos with gifts throughout the year, which means they really don’t need a ton come Christmas time. Our home is already stuffed full of the latest and greatest toddler toys and baby gear.
If you’ve been following along on my blog, you know I’m over the clutter. I’m sick of the piles of toys that are only played with for a week or two. I want meaningful toys that will last and that will keep the attention of my children for more than a few days. And as the gift giver, shouldn’t you want that too? I know many other parents who are sick of the clutter as asking relatives to focus on experiences as gifts and I think that’s great!As parents, we are trying out the four gift approach. We have typically done a small number of gifts for Blaire over the past few years, usually around three from us. I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve read this method is effective because four is the perfect number for a child. They see four gifts and to them, it feels like a lot. But it’s not so many that it’s overwhelming. They’ll remember each gift and will be able to thoughtfully process each as they open them. More than four and they’re just ripping open paper, until they’ve opened them all.
The most common four gift approach follows the super fun and creative “Want, Need, Wear, Read” categories and I, for one, think it’s brilliant. I spent hours scouring websites and shopping with Blaire to come up with a great round-up for toddler girls. Each of these items are great quality, not only material-wise, but play-wise, as well. They will lead your child to learning and pretending and will hopefully make them happy for months, if not years, down the road.
Okay, so this is the area with the most flexibility. This is the area tailored to your specific child’s WANTS this year. Blaire’s big want this year? A dollhouse. She also really likes Barbies, board games, dress-up accessories. So these additional items on her “WANT” list are items we added to her list for other family members.
Remember to make your needs somewhat fun. Socks are more fun when they’re in a fun box with their favorite characters on them. And by choosing a colorful hat and fleece, I know Blaire would be excited to wear them. And by choosing a coat similar to mine, I know she’d be over the moon to match mama.
NEED & WEAR are the two areas where you can get creative. Blaire NEEDS new clothing, but she also really loves to dress up. So you can always use clothing as a NEED and do something fun, like a princess dress, for your WEAR.
READ is an essential. Reading to your children is so, SO important. What child doesn’t love books? Each of these is a favorite of Blaire’s. Some of them are more tailored toward girls, but the majority of them work for boys and girls, which is important to us since we definitely want to invest in books Ben will also enjoy. Although I imagine he’ll be interested in whatever his big sister is for awhile. ;)
Okay, so those are my Want, Need, Wear, Read picks. What do you think?
How many gifts do you give to each of your children?
Do you think four is too little? I’d love to hear what works for your family.