Mindful Christmas Presents for Children - Part 1

Mindful Christmas Presents for Children - Part 1

Magazine Subscription - Magazines for kids are quite pricey and not all parents are willing or able to spend money on magazines every week or month so if your a relative or friend of a child who you know loves magazines then this is an great gift that keeps giving all year round. Some great options include National Geographic for kids - currently £41 for 12 issues, Story Time - currently £36.99 for 12 issues, or Be Rugby at £20.00 for 6 issues. 

Board Games - This is a great gift for any age, our family only really discovered the joys of 'proper' board games a few years ago but we are now 100% converts. Now I am not talking about games like guess who and monopoly, which I also love but they don't tend to keep children in particular amused for very long. I am talking about grown up board games that kids can also play and feel grown up in doing so. A really good one to start with is Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder which comes in all different version's the North American one being the original.  Once you have gotten to grips with this one some other our other family favourites include Five Tribes, The River  and a little bit more to get your head around but super fun for children as you get to 'make potions' and have a bag of ingredients is The Quacks of Quedlinburg, This one even keeps my super hyperactive 5 year old thoroughly amused! 

These games are well made and will last, they are usually around £25-£30 each but you will get so much game play out of them, they are totally worth the money. 

Tickets to an event - Instead of buying more plastic that will end up in a pile somewhere, why not buy some memories, either for you to attend with them or for them to go with other firends or family members, tickets to an event can be a great gift. Some options include musicals, theatre, concerts, wrestling tickets, whatever they are into really. Most events can be found on the Ticketmaster.co.uk website in the UK or the US Ticketmaster.com. If you are buying for other people's children though make sure you check they are available that day! 

Zoo / Aquarium / Museum Membership - These can be quite pricey depending on where you live but if you only have one or two children to buy for they can be a great option. 
London Zoo for example is £82.50 for a Child's annual pass, but if you look around for more local attractions you can get some bargains. Bristol Zoo is only £30 per child annual pass and the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth is only £26.25 for a child or £117 for a family of 4. For those mature children the National Art Pass is £45 a year and allows entry to 100s of museums and art galleries around the UK.

Audiobooks - All kids love Stories and while Mums and Dads love to spend hours reading to them, we all know life if busy and sometimes it's not possible to do all the reading together we might like. This is where audio books come in really handy, they are especially great for kids who need a little help getting to sleep at night, or older kids who want to listen on the school bus. With Audible you could either pay for a subscription for your child which is £7.99 per year for one book or £14.99 a month for two books, or you can pay annually at a reduced rate of £69.99 a year for one book a month or £109.99 a year for 2 books a month. Or if you would prefer you could just purchase them a bundle of pre-selected audio-books of your choice, either option would be a great Christmas present for a literature lover. Other Audiobook providers include Audiobooks.com and Kobo.com .

Gifts that give more - This is probably more suited to older children or teenagers but Greater Good allow you to purchase food and care packages for shelter animals including specific animals, you can also purchase school uniforms for children in Africa, safe drinking water, school books, and give money towards helping endangered animals. For the caring souls among our children and the animal lovers this is a great option where you know you are really making a difference. Check them out here and click on gifts that give more!

Adopt an Animal - Another great one for the charitable and animal lovers but one that can be suitable for a younger child. There are loads of charities out there where you can adopt an animal (hypothetically). The wildlife trust allows you to adopt Badgers, Owls, Bats, Mice, many more and even Seahorses! The prices vary but are all around the £20 mark and usually come with a fact sheet, photos,updates and a cuddly toy. WWF allows you to adopt an animal from £3.00 per month / or £36 one off payment, the options include Tigers, Orangutans, Dolphins, Snow Leopards, Pandas and many more, and you will receive a certificate, fact pack, cuddly toy and regular updates. Born Free offers very similar options to WWF for the same price but is also worth a look to see which you prefer. 

Monthly Subscription Boxes - Monthly Subscription boxes are all the range at the moment as they are a great way to drag kids away from the screens and to spark their interest in different areas. Personally I love the craft ones, the science ones and the engineering ones. One of my favourites is the Kiwi crate, kiwi crate itself is aimed at ages 5-8 but the company has crates for ages 0-2, 2-4, 5-8, 6-11, 14+, 9-16+ and 14 to 104. The crates have different themes including building, art, engineering and geography and others so there really is something for everyone in here. Click on the image of the kiwi box for 50% off your first box. Other good subscription boxes include the Mister Maker Craft Box, which is very affordable at only £5.98 s month and the Mud and Bloom box which is a gardening and nature themed activity box with four activities a month aimed at ages 3-8 years. 
Click here for a 1 month free trial

Amazon Fire for Kids ( Age 3 - 12) - Amazon fire for kids unlimited is a monthly subscription service that gives unlimited downloads of child friendly games, apps and books. It comes in different packages starting at £1.99 a month for one child if you have a prime membership (£3.99 without) to £4.99/£7.99 for a family membership up to 4 children. You can also pay annually if preferred at £49.99 which would make an excellent Christmas present especially for an avid reader. Click the image

eBooks Gift CertificateEbooks - I know not everyone is a fan of Amazon, so if you like the idea of ebooks but don't want to go through Amazon's subscription service you could try ebooks.com who sell a huge range of ebooks, and if you can't decide on which books to buy you can get a gift certificate and let the recipient chose.                    
While writing this I thought of loads more ideas but I didn't want to bombard one blog post with tones of information so keep an eye out for the second part in the next few days! 
If you have any ideas of mindful Christmas Presents feel free to drop them in the comments or tweet me @breakingfreefam 

If you want to know what started my journey to mindful consumerism check out Our story!