Our Henry is not hurting for toys. In fact, I am regularly trying to finds ways of minimizing his collection. While we love the Magna Tiles, Lincoln Logs, Legos, endless art supplies and dress up clothes, they all take up quite a bit of room. Add in a late fall birthday and Christmas, and things can get a little crazy in our house!
To try and remedy the toy avalanche, in the past few years when asked “What would Henry like for Christmas?” we have suggested gifts that give him experiences, not more stuff. Some of our personal favorites have been swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School and memberships to Impression 5 Science Center and Potter Park Zoo. These have been things that he has been able to enjoy year-round and the skills he has learned and the memories he has built will last a lifetime.
Below I’ve compiled a list of fantastic “experience” gifts for your child this holiday season.
Swimming Lessons: Swim lessons are an excellent gift, especially in the cold winter months. They provide exercise; work on large motor skills; and most importantly, teach life-saving water safety skills. The Lansing area has many places that offer swim lessons year round.
Science and the Arts: We are so lucky to live in an area that offers a wealth of opportunities when it comes to museums and the arts. There is nothing better than watching your child have fun, and knowing that they are also learning at the same time! Below are two options that have areas specifically geared towards the preschool and younger set.
- Impression 5 Science Center
- REACH Studio Art Center
- All of Us Express Children’s Theatre
- Mid-Michigan Family Theatre
- Riverwalk Theatre
- Keys to Creativity
Indoor Play and Bounce: With winter just starting and cabin fever threatening to set in, a membership at a local indoor play place or bounce center can be a blessing. What a great way to run off some energy and work out the wiggles on a cold winter’s day!
Animals and Nature: The wonderful thing about all the spots listed below is that they offer an ever-changing experience throughout the year. Through positive experiences with nature, we set the stage for a lifetime commitment to caring for the Earth, animals, and our communities.
Music, Dance, Martial Arts or Gymnastics Lessons: Lessons are a fabulous way to teach children new skills, meet new people and build self-esteem. As kids try, fail, try again, fail again, and then finally succeed, they develop understanding about their own capabilities.
- MSU Community Music School
- Red Cedar Gymnastics
- Platinum Dance Academy
- Patsy Watson School of Dance
- Original Okinawan Karate of Holt
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Martial Arts Center
- Sigh Studio of Music
Of course, this list is by no means complete – if you have suggestions, please add them in the comment section!