You don't need toys to make a child happy for Christmas. All you need is a good plan for "a perfect day"! Tessa shares the details of her plan, which turned into such an amazing gift that it's the third year in a row she'll create one, upon request!
Two years ago, I told my husband that I wanted to take our nephew, Jack, out for a special outing for his Christmas present instead of buying him a toy. However, I wasn't sure which activity Jack would be most excited about. My husband suggested that we make him a menu so that he could choose, and that is where the perfect day idea came from. It spiraled from one activity to 24 hours of kid directed fun, but Jack talks about it all year long. We all enjoy it and its worth the naps that we all need when our 24 hours is over.
This will be our third year giving him his perfect day- its all he wants from us. Now 9 years old, I asked Jack why he loves his PD so much. He shared, "I always look forward to it because it literally is like my perfect day. It's so fun when we do it each year, but I can't seem to wait one whole year."
Throughout the year, we will go to or read about an outing or restaurant, and he will ask if we can add it to the list. He loves to sit with his list the day after Christmas and check the boxes for what he wants to do. Some decisions come quickly and some he will decide the day of. Some choices are totally unexpected. The first year he chose swimming, which surprised all of us because he has a pool at his home. The second year he chose to go to the gem and mineral shop (he's a science guy) and we told him that he could have $10 to spend since getting in to the shop was free.
Our format is this:
pick up around noon
lunch (somewhere fast and cheap)
outing (pool, museum, mini golf, etc)
activity (sports at the park, craft or science project at our home)
dinner (somewhere kid friendly and with his favorite foods)
dessert (ice cream cone, hot cocoa, his favorite cookies, etc)
game (from the board games we already own)
movie (something he already owns or rented from iTunes)
breakfast (at home)
finish up the game/movie/activity that we likely didn't get to finish the day before
home around noon
He gets 3-6 choices per category and the only PD usually lasts from noon to noon. It is a jam packed 24 hours for us. Skipping the activity or movie would be good, if your outing is a longer activity. Or, if you have less time or energy, just cutting it all down to an afternoon with a choice of outing, dinner, and dessert or cheaper by making it lunch with an activity and game at home. His interest seems to lie in making the choices and having our undivided attention, not that we have to get all of things on the list done.
It also is a great last minute gift idea, if you didn't have time for anything else. I create it on Microsoft Word and use what ever I have lying around to present it in a fun way (cardstock, old boxes, a hand me down stuffed animal). If you like the fancy fonts, they come from dafont.com or other free font sites. There is a font for just about everything (shaped like fish, gems, Star Wars, etc). Just search "free font" and what you are looking for. Sometimes you need to be creative with your search terms, but I always find something that works. Certainly not necessary, but it adds to the excitement of the presentation.
Have so much fun experiencing a 'perfect day!'
Check out here other non-toy gifts ideas for kids.
Labels: Gifts For Kids