Every year parents lament spending a small fortune on a ton of stuff, most of which is forgotten soon after it’s been opened.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to include some non toy gifts for your little recipient. But finding something can sometimes be tough, especially if your favorite little person is a little, how shall we say….persnickety?
The items below are tried and true. Loved and cherished. And worth trying, even more for the most demanding.
1. FLUFFY BLANKET
Back in the
80’s 90’s, it wasn’t as easy to get a new fluffy blanket to go with your decor or represent your favorite team. Now? It’s pretty simple. The best part? A blanket feels luxurious and can be used while watching a movie, in bed or on a road trip.
One of our daughter’s favorite-gift-ever was a NY Giants blanket that one of her friends gave her a few years back. Recently she received a grey fleece cover for her bed and loves the feel of the silky texture on one side and fluffy fleece on the other.
New York Giants fleece blanket $19.88 We love this one because it includes grey, super on trend. Now if only the Giants can get it together…
New York Jets fleece blanket $14.97 Can’t forget our favorite green team, the NY Jets.
Wanna know why we include water bottles here? Cuz we can’t stand spending a lot on water bottles. It drives us crazy! But sometimes The Kid wants an expensive water bottle. For us, there are only three times of year when it’s
acceptable kinda acceptable to buy an overpriced water bottle. Back to school, birthdays and Christmas (or Chanukah). But, honestly we won’t do it for Back to School.
Our child has been coveting the Hydroflask…there’s not much to it other than a lid that features a palm-width handle. But that handle…there’s something so uniquely perfect about that handle. You don’t have to worry about the size of the bottle with a handle like that.
If you’re ever on one of those parent groups, you’ll find that the top two water bottles that people LOVE, are the Hydroflask and the YETI. It’s not up to us, so pick one:
Funtainers – while The Kid has outgrown Funtainers, they were a huge part of our household. They’re great for school, sports and beach trips because the straw is concealed by a flip top (the better to keep dirt and critters out). The first time we bought one of these we were stunned by the price, but looking back it was well worth it.
Hydroflask Wide mouth 32 ounce bottle $39.95 Maybe it’s their cute little logo, but this is The Kid’s top pick!
YETI Bottle Rambler 26Oz Black $39.99 Love the black after years of white. But there’s lots of other choices so pick what speaks to you (or them).
3. SPORTS BAGS
You’ve heard us talk about sports bags before. They are a parent’s best friend. Like, BFF! The great thing about having the right sports bag is that everything can be contained in one area. That makes getting out of the house so, so, so much easier. Kids love them, too. In some ways a great bag can give a kid a lot of swagger. But sometimes sports bags can be expensive, so they make terrific gifts.
FIELD HOCKEY & LACROSSE
What’s better than a super organized sports bag? A dual purpose organized sports bag. That’s what you get in this nifty bag from Throwback Gametime. What’s so special about this one? Special shoe compartment AND racquet holder.
Speedo Large Teamster Bags — Oh how we love thee. This is one of the most well designed sports bags ever. Even if your child is a little pip squeak, splurge on the larger size. You’ll be thankful 2 or 3 years down the line. There’s a compartment/area for everything: wet bag for suit, goggle area, mesh cup holder, compartment for kick board and flippers, interior is divided for clothing and towels. It’s seriously the best.bag.ever.
The only thing that’s missing is an area for your shoes (cuz when you go to swim practice in the morning, sometimes you need to bring an extra pair of shoes).
Adidas Stadium Bags are around $50 but are so durable and well made. We’ve had ours for close to 4 years now…that’s 8 fall seasons, 7 winter seasons, 7 spring seasons, 3 boot camps and countless tournaments. You know what? It.still.looks.new. I don’t know how they do it.
4. ART SUPPLIES
Does this count as a toy? We hope not. Art and the ability to create is a skill that can help your child relieve stress or provide you with time to spend with your child in a non-competitive environment. Now, we know what you’re gonna say – this is a sports website, what gives? Well as it turns out, kids that play sports AND have an art “habit” are more well rounded and do better at school than kids that do either “just” sports or “just” art. So there!
USA Art Supply Kit – $30 includes everything you need for your kids to get started, except a table!
p.s. we know lots of people that think that crafts aren’t art. We disagree.
p.p.s. yes, playing a musical instrument counts as art.
p.p.p.s we didn’t include our musical instrument picks because we don’t have any, sorry!
Not a typo. Trust us, there’s going to come a season when all the other kids are going to be wearing some fancy socks. And then you’re gonna go to the store and see that they’ll set you back a cool 20. And you know you’re gonna need two pairs. So now you’re up to 40 and that’s before tax. Plus you have to eat…. So suck it up now and get your kid some mad socks so they’re the first instead of the last.
Prism Custom Elite Socks (small) – shown above
Nike Elite Basketball Socks – $25. Yup, $25 big ones.
MadSports Stuff Chevron Girls Lacrosse Socks – $15 brings radical style to your on field look.
6. EXPERIENCES / PASSES
People need to spend more time with…people. Electronics make it really easy to keep in touch, but there’s something to be said for getting together. Sometimes activities are really expensive though. That’s why we often look through Groupon for local deals. We’ve saved money on everything from Bayville Adventure Park to Splish Splash and Adventureland. The Kid doesn’t know the difference and we can use any savings toward our next adventure (or mortgage).
7. L ERICKSON HAIR BANDS
Large enough that they can worn on the wrist, small enough that they bound around a ponytail for a secure hold. Get a bunch of basic black for $10 or splurge on a multi color tube like the ones above for $18. Either are perfect as a stocking stuffer or small gift for a friend.
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