Each year after Christmas, I find myself a bit overwhelmed by the amount of STUFF that we receive. I’m so grateful for such loving and giving family and friends, but at the end of the day, there are simply so many toys! Toys are great learning tools, but there are lots of other practical gifts that deserve to be given too.
That’s why we pulled together this guide with out-of-the-box ideas for what to give your loved ones this holiday season. These are things that they will actually use and are not toys. We wanted to suggest gifts that are either intended for the family to spend time together or to promote a healthy family.
Here at ParentMD, we’re all about making parenting a little bit easier, so this year, consider giving the gift of precious time well spent together or peace of mind to your loved ones.
Mother and Chief Marketing Officer, ParentMD
Give them the gift of on-the-go ease with a wagon that can be folded up for easy storage and travel.
Why we picked it: If you’ve been to a zoo or beach lately, you know these foldable wagons are everywhere! They are great for families on the go and can be used on the next camping or beach trip, for travel, or to haul around equipment and chairs for sports practices. Super versatile, helpful for a variety of families, and pretty trendy!
NozeBot infant nasal suction device
A battery-powered suction device designed to clear nasal congestion in babies and children.
Why we picked it: Nobody loves sucking the snot out of a baby’s nose, but someone has to do it. This device is easy to use, safe and effective. It was created by our friend, Dr. Steven Goudy, a pediatric ENT, who was inspired to create the NozeBot after seeing the needs of patients with Down Syndrome.
Bark phone or other Bark service
This state-of-the-art Samsung phone features Bark’s award-winning monitoring tool built-in.
Why we picked it: If you are considering getting your child a phone this holiday season, this is a fantastic option! The phone already has Bark’s unique parental monitoring technology installed, making it less scary for parents and providing more independence for your tween or teen.
Zoo, parks, or children’s museum memberships
$ - $$
A zoo, theme park, or science center pass for admission the whole year is your ticket to giving a gift that keeps on giving.
Why we picked it: Year passes are of our favorites for families! Many of our zoos, theme parks, and science centers have something for everyone, and the value it brings to families is incredible. With changing exhibits and activities, the experience and learning opportunity possibilities are endless.
Life jackets, floaties, flip-flops, and sunscreen
$ - $$
Life jackets, floaties, flip-flops, water shoes, sunscreen, and bathing suits are all must-haves for a family pool day – start looking forward to warmer weather!
Why we picked it: Help families promote safe water play time with the pool (or lake or beach) day essentials. Throw one or a couple of these items in a backpack for the family to enjoy time together in the water!
A night out for parents
$ - $$
A gift card to dinner for the parents might just be the getaway they’ve needed!
Why we picked it: Every parent needs a break now and then. If you are trying to get something special for parents in your life, get them a gift card to a favorite local spot or offer to take the kids one night so they can enjoy a couple of hours to themselves!
A tent for getting outdoors and making memories
$ - $$
Give the gift of the great outdoors with a tent, lights, lantern, and sleeping bags for the family!
Why we picked it: We love the idea of getting our children outdoors. Prepare them for summer nights when they can explore what it’s like to go camping in their backyard or at an actual campsite. It’s a unique experience that every family should experience together, creating endless opportunities to learn and bond.
Age-appropriate games; think Trouble, Kerplunk, Sequence, a memory game, or Uno
Choose a handful of games that are age appropriate and encourage the family you are thinking of to have a game night together!
Why we picked it: Having a game night is a great way to spend time together as a family, and by giving them a new game or two to try and play together, you’re giving them time well spent together. There’s nothing better than that!
Cooking utensils for kids (cookie cutters, kid’s knives)
You can give the gift of quality time in the kitchen for the whole family with some utensils made for kids.
Why we picked it: Children learn by doing, and there is a lot to learn in the kitchen. Encourage their involvement in cooking or baking by providing the tools to do so appropriately! We love this as a gift because it offers the chance to build life skills and share in the fun of cooking with family.
Outdoor movie projector and fold-up chairs for movie night outside
$$ - $$$
An outdoor movie projector paired with some fold-up chairs for summer movie nights is sure to be a hit!
Why we picked it: Movie night is a classic family tradition! Enhance their experience with a movie projector and some fold-up chairs to take the magic outside. This is sure to get the whole family excited to spend time together.
ParentMD is a site for parents, by pediatricians, that provides access to pediatric-focused telehealth, education, and community to empower parents and provide peace of mind.
Why we picked it: ParentMD is a great holiday gift. If you want to give a family member or friend peace of mind and make them feel empowered as a parent, this is what you need to get them.
$ ≈ $0-100
$$ ≈ $100 - 200
$$$ ≈ $200+