The Andie Summers Show

If your kids are like mine, every conversation you have with them revolves around what they want for Christmas. My kids have two different approaches. One does the shopping herself and tells me what she wants, but if it’s too expensive she shows me what she’ll settle for. My son, on the other hand, throws everything at the wall and will accept whatever sticks.

‘Tis the season for kids making lists of all the things our kiddos want for the holidays. Are you the parent that tries to check off everything your kid wants? Let’s face it – in most cases, our kids already have more than we did at their age, and we turned out fine! So many moms and dads question whether these new wish-list items really will spark joy for their kids in the months, or even weeks ahead.

So, what are we, as parents, supposed to do? Trying to steer your kids toward a more minimalist lifestyle can seem challenging, but it’s not impossible. The experts would say just teach kids to be happier with fewer things! But, C’mon. Do they even have kids? And, sure, I’d love to teach my kids the difference between what they want and what they need – but that’s like telling your teenager her broken heart is no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

These expert tips just might help you with your shopping and your kids’ expectations as we get closer to the big gift-giving holidays.

  • Give gifts that aren't toys ...

    Instead of yet another toy your child will lose interest in before the packaging even gets recycled, consider presents like tickets or season passes to fun places, or subscriptions to magazines or a themed subscription box.

    • Do you have a kid that loves to cook? Raddish Kids might be just what you’re looking for!
    • Kids love making discoveries and they can learn a ton by exploring with Little Passports!
    • Get your family a membership at the Elmwood Park Zoo!
  • Limit toy-buying to the holiday season ...

    If you still want to see the magic of a pile of toys under the tree on Christmas morning, think about limiting toy-buying during the rest of the year. It may make it tough when a must-have toy comes out later in the year, but the anticipation for it will build and make it even more special when they do get it.

  • Give the gift of STEM ...

    Kids are naturally curious, so feed that by getting them cool kits that engage them in science, technology, engineering and math. Science experiment kits, crystal-growing labs, robot building kits and even kits that make bath bombs and lip balms are all crowd-pleasers.

    Check out some of these:

  • Spend more time in nature ...

    Cultivate a more minimalist mindset for kids by helping them appreciate more than just material things by doing more outside together. Biking, hiking and camping all check that box.

  • Teach them the basics about finances

    Show them the value of a dollar by taking them shopping and show them how you comparison shop and find the best prices on everything from toothpaste to shoes.

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