A Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Shopping for Kids’ Presents

My husband and I are trying our best to be “stuff” minimalists. That goes for our parenting style as well – we live in a relatively small house, and we HATE clutter – so we are trying our best to get by without getting caught up in shopping for clothes and toys when we already have most of what we could ever need.

I found this blog post about 18 Non-Toy Gifts for Children, and it got me thinking about my own gift-giving style when it comes to kids.

1. Always check with mom and dad first to see if they have any “wish list” items. Depending on the child’s age, he or she may have their own list, but mom and dad can give you the scoop on what the child needs, what they already have, and what they do NOT want. Parents on a budget will welcome you helping fill in the gaps on items kids really need.

2. Don’t go BIG. We have a small house and limited space for toys, so the last thing we need is somebody to give us something GIANT. If you’re hankering to give that kiddo in your life something that’s going to take up some serious space, check with mom and dad first.

3. Check Amazon. I love to look up things like “best gifts for 5-year-old boys” when I need to buy something and have no idea where to start. You can see the highest rated toys for each age group and then read reviews of people who have purchased the item. It helps me so much to know which inexpensive items are still high quality, and which ones go right to the junk pile.

4. Go for the imagination. My favorite toys for my little girl are the ones that spark her imagination. Go for things like dress up clothes (boys like them too, especially if they involve super heroes), kitchens/play food/tool benches, art supplies, play dough, sidewalk chalk, jewelry making, or anything that helps them “create” something.

5. Make them want to play outside. Our kids spend enough time indoors, so any sort of toys or activity that can get them outside will encourage physical activity (which is great for their health), and instill a love for the outdoors. For the older kids, try sporting equipment, roller skates, and slip-n-slides, and for the younger ones, water tables, big wheels, and tricycles.

6. Encourage them to think. Just like we want to spark our children’s imaginations, we want to challenge their growing brains. Invest in puzzles and books to give their brains a boost, as well as help pass the time so their parents never hear those dreaded words: “I’m bored.”

Fellow parents – what is your best advice for finding a great gift that will make the child and his/her parents happy?


Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

One comment

  1. Such great advice and just in time for my niece’s upcoming birthday. It was a great idea to ask her mom what she would like instead of just buying something random especially since they have to fly back to Alaska and can’t take a lot of stuff. I totally agree with selecting items that will spark their imagination, enable them to create, or encourage outside play. Kids these days need more opportunities to explore their creativity. Thanks for the terrific ideas!


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